FAZENDA CAMBOA IN BRAZIL
March 31 Uncategorized CommentBrazilian Organic cocoa farm is owned by the Carvalho family. The Carvalhos bought their first cocoa farm in 1942, during World War II. The British companies who previously owned it were trying to hastily exit the country to help finance home war effort. During the ensuing years the family acquired additional surrounding farms in the Bahia region and became very successful cacao growers. However, the family fortune abruptly changed in 1989 with the arrival of Witches Broom disease (Vassoura de Bruxa). The disease is a fungus which travels by air and infects and kills the cacao tree leaves, until the tree no longer produces cacao. Within a year of the disease's arrival, production fell by 96% resulting in the bankruptcy of the family cacao business. In the 1990’s, as everyone was exiting the cacao business in Brazil, two of the Carvalho brothers, Arthur and Eduardo - great-grandsons of the founder - decided to fight for their farms and make it prosperous again. They have developed a revitalization plan which included modern methods to suppress disease in infected trees and prevent the spread, utilizing a mix of hybridization and grafting techniques. Since then the farm has made gradual and steady recovery from the devastating disease, reclaiming infected sections of the farm, section by section, for the past twenty years. The brothers have succeeded and - in 2007 - completed the reclamation of the farm. In addition to becoming USDA Organic and IBD (the Brazilian Organic certified body), the farm has also refined its pre and post harvesting processes which results in a very fine flavor and consistency of cacao.