A chocolate with Amazonian terroir, made from cacao native to the region. It is this delight that César de Mendes produces at the factory located in the Colônia Chicano community, in Santa Bárbara, in the metropolitan region of Belém (PA).
The search for native or wild cacao, the location of which was indicated by traditional populations of the Brazilian Amazon, led to the establishment of a partnership with these communities, which receive training in the production of fine cacao. This includes harvesting, selection, fermentation and drying.
Chocolate De Mendes appeared in 2014. César, who already worked with chocolate production under another brand, Amazônia Cacau, transformed his look and the entire production chain for the new venture.
Before, the chocolatier worked as a professor, researcher and consultant to companies in the area of food technology. In this trajectory, he soon realized that there was always an expectation of people to find something more exotic, more allusive to Amazonian culture. And when it comes to chocolate, it didn’t exist in the region. The producers sought to reproduce the techniques and aesthetics of the most traditional European chocolates, but tourists wanted to try a chocolate with the Amazon brand.
Today the work developed by him has a cultural approach and two unique characteristics: exclusive use of cacao native to the Amazon and association with traditional communities in the production process.
“It was a way that we found to be relevant in relation to socio-biodiversity, the defense of the forest, with social and environmental responsibility. We have a fair relationship with the communities, we pay a decent price for the people who work with us. It is a task of valuing this cacao and favoring the communities involved, so that they can sell cacao at a better price. Often people from partner communities are not assisted by public policies, mainly because of geographical isolation, and cacao and spices from the forest become a means of access,” says César.
Today, the chocolate is sold in two locations – one in Belém, at the Polo Joalheiro, and another in São Paulo, at the Pinheiros Market, in partnership with Instituto ATA and Instituto Socioambiental (ISA). Most of the production is sold directly to the consumer, often in advance.
Among the challenges identified, he points out the difficulty in obtaining credit from banks to expand production and product communication in order to demonstrate all the assets involved. Chocolate De Mendes today is unable to meet the entire demand for chocolate due to a technological deficit. It is necessary to promote the modernization of production equipment.
What was said about the business
Chocolates de mendes
STAGE OF BUSINESS
ABOUT THE BUSINESS
Manufacture and sale of chocolate with native cacao, associated with a traditional community (indigenous, quilombola, riverine, caboclo communities).
WHAT DOES IT SOLVE?
Improvement of sustainable income for family farmers and riverine families. Preservation of Amazonian biodiversity.
POSITIVE SOCIOENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
Improves income for local communities and preserves biodiversity in the Amazon. It offers training in good management practices for communities – fine cacao, from harvest to drying.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION
DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
PEACE, JUSTICE, AND STRON INSITITIONS
INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Chocolate in different formats and compositions and by- products. It offers the product to the final consumer and also raw material for confectioneries and chocolate makers.
Revenue of BRL 840 thousand/year. 30% profit margin.
DOES IT MAKE ITS PURPOSE CLEAR?
DOES IT MONITOR ITS IMPACT?
CÉSAR DE JESUS MORAES MENDES