About Us

Ecole Chocolat Makes a Difference

We are very active in groups that support the fine chocolate industry, culinary industry as well as women in food, beverage and hospitality. We are especially proud of the hard work of our Founder Pam William, in the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative detailed below.

Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative

We are a proud Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative Founding Circle member

SAVE THE CHOCOLATE! The "diamonds" of chocolate are vanishing and could be lost forever unless we act to identify, preserve, and propagate them. That’s why we became Founding Circle members of the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative (HCP). A partnership between the Fine Chocolate Industry Association and the USDA, the HCP is a totally new way to evaluate, identify, and value cacao that has special, extraordinary, and/or unique flavor and reward the family farms which grow it by helping them achieve the same or even greater income than they would by selling ordinary or bulk cacao.

Learn more at: www.finechocolateindustry.org/HCP

THE HCP DESIGNATES FIRST-EVER HEIRLOOM CACAO!

February 2014 – The best chocolate in the world starts with the finest cacao but that cacao is poised for extinction. As the industry continues to replace fine flavor cacao trees with bland hybrids and clones, a world of boring monochromatic chocolate dominates. Fine chocolate is a sweet symphony – the richest, most complex form in the chocolate universe – and protecting, preserving, and propagating that symphony’s centuries-long existence for future generations has begun. But how? Connecting genetics to flavor offers a crucial innovation to understanding cacao’s tastiest genes now in production. Yet no genetic initiative has ever focused on flavor until the FCIA launched its ambitious Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative (HCP,www.finechocolateindustry.org/hcp) in 2012 to find the diamonds of cacao, connecting their flavor traits to their genetics, rewarding their growers, and working with the world’s foremost flavor experts and geneticists to save heirloom cacao from extinction.

The HCP is also delighted to announce the following cacao trees at origin have been designated HEIRLOOM (http://finechocolateindustry.org/heirlooms):

Alto Beni, Bolivia and Tranquilidad Estate, Beni, Bolivia

both provided by Volker Lehmann of Frontier Ventures Bolivia

Hacienda Limon, Los Rios, Ecuador

provided by Samuel von Rutte, ORECAO SA

Hawaii Agriculture Research Center Maunawili Experiment Station

provided by Daniel O’Doherty Cacao Services Agricultural & Scientific Consulting

 

These heirloom designations are the HCP’s first steps to realizing its mission:

  • Identifying the finest flavor cacaos which become the most flavorful chocolate in the world;
  • Linking their flavor to genetics for natural propagation;
  • Preserving and propagating them now and for future generations;
  • Recognizing and rewarding the growers who cultivate them.



We are also long term supporters of the following associations



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