Location: Gran Couva
Certifications: Rainforest Alliance
Tasting Notes: Marshmallow, Cedar, Brown Fruit
MONTSERRAT COOPERATIVE is a farmer-owned and run cooperative whose primary goal is helping to revitalize the local cocoa industry and improving the quality of life for its farmers through its higher bean price. The co-op began in 2009 when 5 farmers opened the conversation about organizing together to revive the cocoa farms in the Montserrat region of Trinidad. They wanted to improve the living standards of farmer members through better pricing of their cocoa. This meant that they had to consistently increase their quality and their production levels. By 2010 the official co-op, formally called Montserrat Cocoa Farmers Co-operative Society Limited, was formed.
48 large and small farmers contribute to Montserrat’s pool of excellent region-specific material. Their central processing facility is located at San Antonio, one of the many estates that contribute to the blend of material acquired solely from the Montserrat region in Trinidad. In 2016 the co-op became the first organization in the English-speaking Caribbean to receive certification from Rainforest Alliance. This is a significant step in the evolution of this farmer-led effort and it bodes well for future advances in consistently producing a large quantity of beans that are high in quality and overall standards of operation. This in turn will fuel better living and working standards for all who actively contribute to the co-op’s cocoa efforts.