Crioco Cacao, LLC
Over ten years ago, BFREE began exploring the environmental, social, and economic benefits of shade grown organic cacao as a tool for conserving and restoring tropical forests and ecosystems. In 2016, BFREE’s cacao trees and chocolate grown in the project received “Heirloom Fine Flavor” designation from the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund. This designation ignited BFREE’s interest in the very real possibility of using this special and rare cacao to save the rainforests of Belize. Just three years after the HCP designation, BFREE’s Executive Director, Jacob Marlin, established Crioco Cacao, LLC – a fully owned subsidiary of BFREE. Crioco’s goal is to grow 100% criollo cacao cloned from wild trees in a commercial farm environment to support the conservation mission of BFREE and help advance the fine flavor cocoa industry in Belize.
Below are the Crioco Cacao staff who manage operations of the cacao agroforestry project at the BFREE Field Station.
Special thanks to Jorge Silva Rivera for the staff photographs and Autumn Dietrich for interviewing the staff.