Cocoa Family Raises Bar for Cocoa Traceability Schemes

March 18, 2013

The cocoa ingredients supplier has a high standard for traceability and transparency.

Cocoa Family (Duarte, CA), a supplier of cocoa ingredients, is introducing its own cocoa transparency and traceability program.And it’s likely to elevate standards for ingredient transparency schemes.

Based on QR codes (here’s an example), T.R.U.S.T. allows manufacturers to track relevant details about each received shipment of cocoa product-geographical origin, harvest date, manufacturing date, lot number, relevant certifications. Some of these details, such as lot number tracking, might already be available with other ingredient suppliers.

But others details are likely not available-at least not in the way Cocoa Family intends to provide them.

“What we’re going to do is concentrate more on the origin of the product,” said Cocoa Family cocoa trade director, Vaagn Arakelyan, in an interview with Nutritional Outlook. “With real-time videos and pictures, we’ll be documenting the conditions of farmers, the conditions of trees, and when a product was brought into processing-because it’s easy to dress things up in the United States without showing what’s really happening in the country of origin.”

Cocoa Family sources all of its cocoa from the Dominican Republic, and Arakelyan says his company is investing more in reporting over there than in the United States.

Raw verification is another tangible that frequently escapes the reach of transparency programs. To assure its customers of raw cocoa processes from start to finish, Cocoa Family has a solution: real-time video or pictures of its temperature-controlling procedures.

“Using temperature guns, we can verify the temperatures inside all of our processing machines-the roasters, winnowing machines, grinders, and cold-pressers,” said Arakelyan. “Video and/or pictures will assure our customers that all of these procedures are taking place under 117°F, the threshold for raw identity.”

Nutritional Outlook will continue to follow Cocoa Family as its T.R.U.S.T. program develops.

Cocoa Family is a supplier of cocoa nibs, liquor, butter, and other cocoa ingredients, all exclusively sourced from the Dominican Republic.