Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter
Organic cocoa butter (Theobroma cacao) is obtained from the cacao tree, which is grown without the use of pesticides, fertilisers or herbicides.
Our organic cocoa butter is also Fairtrade, and comes all the way from the sunny islands of Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. In the Dominican Republic, cocoa production represents around 90% of the local communities’ income, making it a vital product. To ensure that the farmers were securing a fair wage, they formed a co-operative in 1988, which encompasses around 25% of the Dominican farmers, roughly 9,500 members.
This cooperative provides approximately 10,000 tonnes of cocoa to the market place, of which 95% is organic, 50% is Fairtrade and 150 of the farmers have even become biodynamic. In April 2007, our buying team went to see this firsthand.
The cacao tree (Theobroma cacao – ‘the food of the gods’) is native to tropical America and can grow up to approximately thirty feet tall. The tree yields fruit in its fourth year in the form of dark red or brown pods. These pods, in turn, yield up to fifty seeds.
To make cocoa butter, these seeds are fermented, which removes their bitterness. They are then cleaned, roasted and cracked to remove their hard shells. These ‘cocoa nibs’ are ground to a thick, oily paste called chocolate liquor.
The fat removed from the liquor goes through high pressure to separate the cocoa butter and cocoa powder. The butter is more than 50 % of the cocoa bean. It is rendered into pale yellow cocoa butter. Unlike most fats, the butter is not greasy. It has a hard consistency and smells like chocolate.
We owe our knowledge of cocoa to the Aztecs. They created the original form of hot chocolate, which was a fiery, chocolate drink.
The butter is a natural emulsifier and softening for the skin. It is said to effectively relieve itchy, dry skin when applied topically. We use it across our entire range of products for its softening, moisturising and conditioning properties.
Cocoa butter is a stable and dry butter. It can be used in combination with other natural butters to create rich blends. We use Fairtrade organic cocoa butter in our Fair Trade Foot Lotion to soften dry, rough feet.
Our Charity Pot is now made with Fairtrade organic cocoa butter, which has drastically improved the lotion.