Save Fine Chocolate
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Save Fine Chocolate

Ecole Chocolat makes a difference
In the cacao orchard
Cacao tree nursery

Ecole Chocolat Makes a Difference! We are very proud of the hard work of our Founder and Lead Instructor, Pam Williams, with the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund whose mission is to “discover, identify and preserve fine flavor (“heirloom”) cacao varieties for the conservation of biological diversity and the empowerment of farming communities”.

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 Fund (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:

Again, we are proud we could contribute to the effort as Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund Founding Circle member and HCP President 2019.


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 Fund 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.

Meet our Heirloom cacao farmers!

Terciopelo, Coto Brus
Terciopelo, Coto Brus, Costa Rica

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.

To learn more about the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund, please watch and enjoy the following video:

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Photography by Jessica Washburn, Bliss Chocolatier and Ecole Chocolat

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