Hi. I'm Tayna. Rosendo Vasquez Mariella.

Ninety percent of the world’s cocoa is
You probably
grown on small family farms by around
know all
I’m 13 and live in Enfield.
six million farmers.
I want to tell you
chocolate. It
about my journey to find
is one of our
out where the cocoa in
favourite treats
chocolate comes from.
in the UK. Every
year we each eat
about 11kg of chocolate
in this country. That means about six
people are eating a bar every second!
That might seem very big but
cocoa is not like most other food
And it’s not just chocolate bars
crops. A cocoa farm does not look
that are so popular but hot
like most other farms at all. Cocoa
chocolate, and chocolatey
trees need shade, so they grow under
face creams and bubble baths…
the cover of other trees in forests.
Hi. I’m Tayna.
my fairtrade
Fairtrade cocoa farmers
on average have farms of
2.7 hectares. That’s about
three-and-a-half times a
full-size football pitch.
Rosend led
s cal
village i
Los Braezoare
and the olds
32 hothuesre.
Rosendo has
a wife, Ramona,
and six children.
One of his daughters
lives in the capital,
Santo Domingo.
She is only a little
older than me.
The sacks are stacked from
floor to ceiling. This is the
point at which they leave the
Dominican Republic.
In a factory in Europe
they get roasted and
pressed, which
separates the cocoa
butter, liquid chocolate
and cocoa powder.
The liquid chocolate and cocoa butter
are mixed with sugar and milk, and
sometimes other ingredients, to make
chocolate. And some of the cocoa that
has been grown by Rosendo and his
neighbours in Los Brazos is sold on
Fairtrade terms.
This means the farmers get a
fair price, and the Fairtrade
Premium to invest in
their business and
Cocoa trees are a bit
different too.
The fruit of a cocoa tree, the
cocoa pod, grows directly from
the trunk, not from the ends of
the branches like most fruit.
Have you ever seen another tree like this?
This is
Rosendo Vasquez
He is a cocoa farmer I met
in the Dominican Republic.
He belongs to a cocoa cooperative – a group of farmers
– called CONACADO. There are
10,000 farmers in CONACADO.
These are the rest of his children,
his wife and his father Manuel.
This is
Rosendo’s daughter
farms aren’t
just different
because they grow
in forests.
Cocoa trees only grow
in hot, humid places
with lots of rain.
They grow in
tropical areas,
including in South
and Central America,
Africa, parts of Asia…
Working together as
a co-operative benefits
Rosendo has been farming cocoa
since 1982. He owns one hectare
of land and rents three more.
He told me all about the cocoa
that he grows. He harvests his
cocoa twice a year. He told me
that ‘to work the land is very
hard work’.
These beans
are now dried,
chocolately and
ready to go into
sacks and be
shipped to Europe.
In Los Brazos they have used
the Fairtrade Premium to bring
piped water into their homes
meaning they no
longer have to walk
4km each way to
collect water from
a stream, which took
several hours.
A cocoa tree has
to be three or
four years old
before it starts
producing cocoa
pods. Cocoa pods
can be red, yellow
or green.
After five days the
pulp has gone and the
beans are just right.
It is really hot inside there!
Now they must be
dried. At the drying centre
beans are dried in these
structures that look a bit like
greenhouses. If it is raining
sometimes they need to go
in a drying machine, which
is like an oven.
Rosendo told me:
Fairtrade means to me:
...and the Caribbean,
where I visited
some farmers in the
Dominican Republic.
Inside the cocoa pod
there are lots of cocoa
beans, surrounded by
sweet, fruity pulp.
You can eat the
pulp straight from
the pod. It tastes
good but not at all
like chocolate!
If you want to use your
cocoa beans to make chocolate,
they need to ‘ferment’ in the pulp for five days,
a process that develops the taste. Some farmers
do this under banana leaves and sacks.
Rosendo’s beans go to the Conacado drying centre where they
get fermented in big boxes. This is just one of the ways being in a
co-operative and working together can be helpful for farmers. Now
Rosendo does not have to ferment and dry his own beans, which
means more time to tend to his cocoa trees.
He is able to save some money, which his
father could never do. ‘Before we were in Fairtrade
we… didn’t know about the prices. Now we are
getting better prices and after the harvest we
receive the Premium’.
he hopes in the future he will be able to
buy more land, as this would increase
the amount he can earn. He would also
like to ensure his children have an
education and get good jobs.
And it’s not just water
that Los Brazos have
benefited from. They
now have electricity and
toilets, all from the
Fairtrade Premium.
So chocolate doesn’t just taste good – it can do good too.
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