Belvas inaugurates biodynamic “living” chocolate in partnership with the village of Armayari in Peru

Over the years, Belvas has forged direct links with cocoa farmers around the world and has set up direct programmes with them to guarantee :

  • A fair income
  • Greater added value by organising certain additional production stages locally, close to the plantations.

More generally, Belvas uses only Fairtrade-certified ingredients, but has decided to take the organic principle a step further by developing an exclusive partnership with the village of Armayari in Peru.

The village comprises 24 plantations.

Our aim? To produce biodynamic cocoa beans. It’s a pioneering project that required us to learn about and change the traditional chocolate supply chain.

Biodynamics … the ancestor of modern organic farming

It’s a production method that sees the farm as a living, integrated organism. It is based on ecological and spiritual principles, and aims to create a balance between man, earth and animals.

Developing biodynamic farming is particularly difficult for cocoa, as it is organised into cooperatives of several hundred very small producers, each producing just a few dozen bags of cocoa beans. These are collected at the cooperative and then sent on to the various processing stages, with no traceability.

Armayari, a collaboration with Demeter

For this project with the village of Armayari, Belvas is working with the Demeter organisation.

Demeter is a European organic certification programme for agricultural and food products based on the principles of biodynamic agriculture. It is a global approach that ensures that specifications are respected throughout the production chain. Certified products must meet strict standards in terms of quality, sustainability and respect for the environment.

Belvas has selected the village of Armayari for its unique cocoa: an exceptional bean that is deliciously fruity, it allows a low roast that leaves the bean’s natural aromas and nutritional properties intact.

It is therefore necessary to introduce biodynamic farming practices on a well-defined area with producers who are motivated to change their habits. From the outset, these farmers must be certified organic, but they also need the financial resources to make the changes. This move towards biodynamic viticulture is a real change for the farmers concerned, but above all it is a commitment that will last for generations.

Belvas financed this investment and added to it the guarantee of buying the entire village harvest at a higher price throughout the conversion period.

The Demeter standard includes various principles:

  • No organic/non-organic mix
  • Follow the rhythms of the Earth whenever possible: following the rhythms of the Earth allows us to be in harmony with nature, but weather conditions can sometimes have an impact on the fulfilment of these criteria. Demeter understands this and the certification therefore does not require us to follow these rhythms on a daily basis.
  • The ban on the use of synthetic chemical products and the obligation to favour natural products for plant well-being
  • Animal welfare (physical integrity, housing, feeding)
  • Preservation of biodiversity