Rio Nuevo was founded by married couple, Andres from Ecuador and Sara from Colombia.
Now living in Cornwall and with their direct connections to the cocoa farmers in Ecuador, they create delicious chocolate using only ethically sourced single estate Arriba Nacional cocoa beans.
This is not just chocolate… it’s chocolate with a purpose!
“Sara and I always dreamed of working with communities back at home, I grew up in Ecuador and Sara grew up in a small coffee farm in Colombia and knows first hand the difficulties small scale farmers face and we always felt we had a responsibility and a role to play in creating change.
Our chocolate project was born when at our wedding (in the amazon rainforest in Ecuador) we were shown how to make chocolate by the local residents, there we learnt about the struggles cacao farmers face and the propagation of CCN-51 ( a hybrid variety of less quality but higher yield) which is threatening our cacao heritage. We returned to the UK wanting to do our bit, we wanted to make chocolate bars that have a positive impact on the land and its farmers as well as raising awareness of the lack and limitations of fair trade practices in the cacao industry.
Ecuador is the leading producer of fine flavour cacao in the world, Arriba Nacional. Only 6-8% of cacao produced in the world is fine flavour cacao of which 54% is produced in Ecuador.
Our aim is to help farmers in Ecuador to improve their livelihoods, we want to do this through direct trade. We’re committed to transparent and ethical trade, this is why we buy and import the cacao directly from our farmers in Vinces-Ecuador.
Don Julian and Doña Julia own a small farm that has been in their family’s possession for generations and alongside them their daughter and grandchildren are involved in the day to day running of the farm. Many of these small holder farmers lack access to basic tools, trade markets and knowledge, by working directly with our farmers we will be able to empower them and their families; as a result they become more productive, their living conditions improve, their environment improves and they don’t just help themselves but they help to feed healthy communities and thriving economies.
Around one hundred thousand families depend on cacao crops alone. This is why our core values are to act responsibly and with integrity so together with you we can make a difference in their lives!”