One of the best chocolates in the world is named Terra da Felicidade (Land of Happiness, in a literal translation). The Brazilian product from the brand ChOr, made with 55% cocoa from Bahia in northeastern Brazil, has just won the AVPA 2021 Gourmet Bronze award.
The Brazilian terroir caught the attention of the European jury. “Our cocoa is aromatic, fruity, and makes excellent chocolate,” explains Marco Lessa, head of the company ChOr, in an interview with Brazilian Farmers. He also says that ChOr chocolate meets some patterns that are very important to European consumers: high standards related to environmental preservation and social responsibility.
“Brazil has this unique condition for cocoa planting, preserving the Atlantic Forest and the Amazon Rainforest,” says Lessa. According to him, aspects like location, weather, people, nature, history, and culture draw the world’s attention to the Brazilian product.
Lessa is not the only entrepreneur feeding the world with Brazilian chocolate. In recent years, several farmers have also been exporting and recognized for their high-quality cocoa products. These products come not only from Bahia, like ChOr but from other parts of this continental country.
Today, Brazil has three geographical indications registered by the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) and validated by the Ministry of Agriculture: the cocoa from the south of Bahia (in the Northeast), the cocoa from Linhares, in Espírito Santo (in the Southeast), and the indication of origin from Tomé-Açu, in Pará (in the North of the country).
The acknowledgment of Brazilian cocoa with the AVPA award helps Brazil to reach more foreign markets. Today, ChOr has the European market as a priority, but the company also has plans to expand to the United States, in addition to strategic destinations such as Russia, China, and the Middle East.
The Agro.BR project has given support to several producers of cocoa-related products. Agro.BR is an initiative of the Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil (CNA), in partnership with Apex-Brasil, and works to increase the number of farmers in international trade and the diversity of products exported by Brazil.
Recently, producers assisted by the Agro.BR project exported cocoa liquor to Switzerland, a country acknowledged for its strict requirements regarding the quality of the ingredients.