Rich ecosystems instead of monocultures - this is what two nature lovers, Mayra Nuñez and Felix Bauer, have been campaigning for recently. With their company Allpa Kula, they source cocoa from smallholder cultivation projects and lovingly hand-process it into food products such as chocolate and cocoa nibs under the slogan "Cocoa products for biodiversity".
The cocoa is cultivated according to the principle of regenerative agriculture. This means that the plantations create habitats for rare animal and plant species and contribute to improving water and soil quality. In addition, the plantations provide important buffer and connectivity zones for surrounding protected areas. All in the spirit of ecological infrastructure.
In return, the cocoa farmers receive a better price than on the regular market. The special origin of the cocoa is also clearly reflected in its taste.
It all started at the end of 2019 when the two young entrepreneurs travelled to Mayra's home country Ecuador - a country of breathtaking diversity. They were not only impressed by the beauty of nature, but also by the large areas of rainforest that had been burned down to make way for large areas of monoculture - bananas, oil palms or cocoa. A now unfortunately very widespread form of agriculture.
However, they also came across small cocoa cultivation projects that were completely different: The plantations looked like jungle themselves, full of life. Besides cocoa, all kinds of things grew here: Tropical fruits, spices, huge shade-giving indigenous trees. You had to look for the cocoa trees themselves in the thicket. They were kept company by birds, monkeys and even a few sleepy sloths.
They were so enthusiastic that they were determined to support the cocoa farmers in their project. And so the dream of Allpa Kula was born:
Cocoa products of the highest quality that can be enjoyed with a clear conscience. That are not only sustainable, but give something back to nature and promote biodiversity - worldwide. To achieve this, they work tirelessly and set the highest standards at every step of production - from cultivation to consumption.
Further information on the project can be found on the homepage www.allpakula.ch.