by Analiese Paik, Fairfield Green Food Guide
I read about Kallari single source USDA organic chocolate made by a cooperative of 850 indigenous Kichwa farmers in the Ecuadoran Amazon a few months ago in the New York Times and have been waiting rather impatiently for it to show up at Whole Foods. Yes, you read that right, the farmers actually make this chocolate rather than sell the to a middleman to be made into chocolate. And they are "the only farmers' cooperative in the world that harvests, markets and enjoys all profits from its own line of organic chocolate" according to The Kallari Story printed inside the box. We can all thank Stephen McDonnell, the founder and chief executive of the Applegate Farms organic food company, for establishing and funding the manufacturing facility.
Well I finally got my hands on a bar this week - just in time for Earth Day. This beautifully packaged "green" chocolate gives eco-conscious consumers so many compelling reasons to feel good about buying it: it's USDA organic, Certified and 100% of the proceeds go back to the farmers so they can lead a good life and preserve the Napo region, home to "some of the most species-rich forests in the world", according to the World Wildlife Fund.