BUYING CACAO BEANS
How do I buy cocoa beans from Meridian Cacao Co.?
The majority of the cacao we sell is sold in full-size jute bags ranging from 45 - 70 kgs depending on the origin. It is housed in cocoa-specific warehouses and shipped via freight trucks on wooden pallets.
If you are interested in purchasing bulk orders of cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, or cacao nibs, please contact us! We can walk you through the order process and help tailor your order to your business, whether that is a specific flavor profile, origin, certification, or price.
For small businesses and hobbyists who are not interested in full bags of beans, we also sell cocoa beans by the kilo on our online store. Our online store is also a great place to start if you want smaller increments to play around with before you order larger amounts.
Our goal is to provide an easy and transparent experience for purchasing cacao. From the home hobbyist to the mom-and-pop shop to the large commercial chocolate maker, we want to make delicious and traceable cacao and cacao products available for everyone.
What beans do you have available now? When are more beans coming?
We will do our best to keep our origins page updated with availability and ETA’s. We are always available by phone or email for the most updated information on our inventory.
Bean availability is dependent on harvest cycles. While we do our best to keep beans in stock, they are all subject to selling out before a new harvest arrives. Our in-stock cacao is offered on a first-come first-served basis. As such, we suggest a timely turnaround when sampling our beans, and we also suggest thinking ahead about your cacao needs as our availability is subject to change.
Can I have a sample of your beans before I purchase?
All of our in-stock beans are available in 1-kilo and 5-kilo increments on our online store, a great place to start for testing out roast and conch profiles. We offer 1-kilo samples of beans to chocolate companies interested in purchasing beans by the pallet (around 8 jute bags). Our origins page has more information about the flavor profiles of each bean. You can always contact us for further information about the flavor and quality of the beans.
What are the prices for your beans?
Bean prices vary by origin and by volume purchased. Please contact us for our most updated price guide.
What is the lead time for orders?
Once your order is finalized, it typically takes 2 days to get the shipment picked up by a trucking company and an additional 2-6 days of transit depending on your factory’s distance from our warehouse.
Is there a minimum purchase amount?
We do not have a minimum purchase amount. We are happy to serve any size business or hobbyist who wishes to use our beans! We sell beans by the kilo, 5-kilo box, and 30-kilo box on our online store. If you are interested in full jute bags of beans, we will sell you one bag or hundreds of bags, and anywhere in between. We offer price breaks for beans at 5 or more bags and again at 3 metric tons or more.
Can I mix and match origins to get your 5+ bag price?
Yes you can! Our pricing tiers reflect the load-out costs charged to us by the warehouse. You can combine one bag of five different origins onto a pallet and get our 5+ bag price.
How do you accept payment? Do you offer terms?
Our policy for new customers is cash against release. After we establish a history with you of 3 or more orders, we can provide terms at our discretion, up to net 30. A finance charge of 1.5% per month will be applied to all delinquent accounts. We accept payment by debit or credit card, PayPal, check, and wire transfer. If you choose to pay with a credit/debit card or PayPal, we will charge a 3% processing fee.
Do you do heavy metal and microbial testing of your beans?
We do biannual heavy metal testing on all of the beans that we source. We also offer microbial testing for each lot that we sell. Raw cacao is is not recommended for human consumption prior to a treatment or a 'kill step' such as roasting, which is done at the chocolate-maker level. Since there are so many variables that affect the cacao after it has left Meridian’s hands and goes to the individual chocolate maker, we cannot guarantee our cacao to be free from pathogens. We recommend each maker getting their own tests before sending a final chocolate product to a consumer.
STORAGE AND SHIPPING
Where are the beans stored?
We store full bags of cocoa beans (ranging from 45kgs to 70kgs each, depending on their origin) at three different warehouses. The majority of our beans are kept at East Bay Logistics in Hayward, CA. We also store some beans at Dependable Distribution in Pennsauken, NJ. Our Portland, OR headquarters has a small warehouse for storing a rotating selection of full bags as well.
How should I store my cacao?
We recommend storing beans in a clean, dry room kept at under 70 degrees Fahrenheit and as close to 50% relative humidity as possible.
How do you ship full bags of cacao?
Full bags of cacao are stacked on a wooden pallet, then wrapped with stretch wrap and strapped down.
How many bags fit on a pallet?
A pallet fits up to 8 full bags of cacao beans. Purchasing and shipping cacao in full-pallet increments will get you the lowest price per kilo in shipping and handling cost.
Can Meridian arrange shipping for me?
Absolutely! We have competitive rates with freight carriers that we pass on to our customers. We can help you organize your shipment of beans.
Can I arrange my own shipping?
Yes! If you would like to arrange your own shipping, we can provide you with the necessary pickup and shipment information to pass along to the trucking company of your choosing.
Can I pick the bags up at the warehouse myself?
Yes you can! If it is convenient for you to pick up the beans yourself at either of our warehouses, let us know and we’ll help arrange it. Be aware that the bags of beans are heavy (150 pounds or so) and so a big car or truck is best, especially for multiple bags. It usually takes two people to be able to move one bag! Pickup requires a 48 hour lead time. If you would like to pick up the beans in Portland, OR, we require a one week lead time to make sure we have the beans in stock for your pickup.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes we do. We have lots of experience in export logistics and are able to ship beans internationally via air freight or ocean freight. We can provide the necessary documentation, including phytosanitary certificates and certificates of origin, to enable a smooth import into your country. We love seeing the beans we source used in chocolate all over the world. Contact our sales team and we can work with you directly on shipping quotes, samples, and more.
What if the cacao gets damaged in transit?
When your cacao ships, it is strapped on a pallet and wrapped tightly. As such, we rarely see damage of beans in transit. However, if your cacao beans arrived damaged or if some are missing, it is essential for insurance purposes that you note any damage before you sign off the the delivery driver. After you notify the driver, please also notify Meridian and we will follow up accordingly.
When will my order ship?
We ship online store orders within 3 days of their placement. You will receive an email with tracking information as soon as your order has shipped.
Who do I contact if there is a problem with my order?
Please email email@example.com if there are any issues with your online order.
Can I pick up my order instead of shipping it?
If you live in Portland, Oregon or are coming through the area, we are happy to pack your order for pickup. Please email or call us to place your order, and we will have it ready for you will-call. We recommend at least 24 hr notice for will call orders in Portland.