Guest post

'Pacha de Cacao - an uplifting story about the powerful cacao fruit'

By Marika van Santvoort

- Last updated on GMT

‘Pacha de Cacao’ comes from ‘Pachamama’, meaning ‘Mother Earth’ in the Quechua language. Pic: Pacha de Cacao
‘Pacha de Cacao’ comes from ‘Pachamama’, meaning ‘Mother Earth’ in the Quechua language. Pic: Pacha de Cacao

Related tags: cacao juice

It has been five months since the article ‘Freshly pressed - Why Freebird Cacao Juice could be a game-changer’ was published by ConfectioneryNews, and a lot has happened since then.

New name, new identity

My start-up company underwent some profound changes. First of all, on the name, it changed from Freebird to …. Pacha de Cacao!

Pacha Juice 750

We challenge the industry by using cacao pulp - now a waste product - as the main ingredient. Not the cacao beans. For more than 500 years, since Columbus brought back the exotic cacao beans after one of his trips from the New World, the industry has been after only the beans. It’s time to change that.

‘Pacha de Cacao’ comes from ‘Pachamama’, meaning ‘Mother Earth’ in the Quechua language. A very powerful concept in all Latin American countries, especially in those where the Quechua language is still being spoken by Indigenous tribes.

Many people are frustrated by the lack of authenticity and action coming from big brands. They want to connect to a story that is real and new

Adding the Spanish words ‘de Cacao’ to the mix, the meaning comes to ‘The world of Cacao’. The name connects well to the underlying purpose of our company, while it also opens up the conversation to consumers about the powerful cacao fruit; its origins, its impact and all the beautiful traditions around it. I love to talk about those stories.

I believe it’s due time for consumers to hear a more positive story about cacao. That’s why I went for a visual identity that is uplifting, inspired by ethnic patterns and the Amazon rainforest. The goal is to draw people into an exotic world in a modern and elegant interpretation, with a fresh and positive look and feel. The designers did a great job telling that story.

So, is there a problem?

Of course there is a problem. Yearly, more than 5 million tons of cacao beans are being produced, only for using the beans to make chocolate and other products. Most farmers are depending on volatile prices that are lower than their production costs. How can they sustain their families, let alone invest in the future?

Our company pays for the pulp, which is an extra source of income on top of the beans. And although it might be a relatively small amount now, we have big ambitions for it to grow, so that we can work with more small-holder farmers from different countries.

Marika van Santvoort crop

With Pacha de Cacao, we want to rediscover the power of the cacao fruit to help people, business & nature thrive

I believe that Pacha also solves a problem that consumers have when it comes to choosing a functional feel good (and do good) beverage. Many people are frustrated by the lack of authenticity and action coming from big brands. They want to connect to a story that is real and new.

Mission and vision of Pacha

But we are not the first to unlock the secrets of the cacao fruit. Farmers know it. They have always known it. More than 5,300 years ago, the people in a region called Zamora Chinchipe (South Ecuador), were already cultivating cacao for consumption. Researchers found traces of Theobromine in vessels and pots, supporting the claim that Ecuador is the first origin of cacao as we know it today, and that it is highly likely that the pulp was consumed as a beverage by the Amazonian cultures, more so than the beans.

With Pacha de Cacao, we want to rediscover the power of the cacao fruit to help people, business & nature thrive. Going beyond chocolate. That’s our purpose. And we will do so by creating a 100% natural cacao juice which tastes delicious and is nutritious, by educating consumers on the story of cacao and showing them that cacao is more than chocolate, and by collaborating with other companies to build a healthy and sustainable cacao industry.

What’s next?

Our cacao juice will be available in a few weeks, but it’s already possible to pre-order now via our website: www.pachadecacao.com​.

Want to join our tribe? Currently we are looking for additional (financial) support from cocoa or chocolate companies, private individuals, or retailers who want to back our mission to bring this cacao juice to the market.

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