How much does it cost to produce one block of Ceremonial Cacao?
Learn about the real value of Cacao Source

The price of a pound of Ceremonial Cacao can vary according to many factors. At Cacao Source, we believe in dignified work, social justice, land regeneration, and sustainability. Therefore, our prices are a reflection of our values. The production of each pound of our Cacao is fairly paid from seed to distribution. And each purchase supports the creation of intercultural collaborations, organic agroforestry systems, and social and personal empowerment opportunities.

In this article, we will tell you exactly how much it costs to produce one pound of the highest quality Ceremonial Cacao in Guatemala. And we'll tell you about the challenges of having a Social Cacao Business with international shipments.

1.How much does it cost to produce one block of Cacao Source?

One of our principles is transparency. Here we give you an approximate breakdown of the net production cost of a pound of Ceremonial Cacao:

As can be concluded from the image, the net production value of a pound of Cacao Source is approximately $15. We will explain in more detail how this value is distributed:

            A. Multicultural Team - 30%

          $4.3, or 30% of the total value, covers the salaries of our international team of 9 people who are in charge of Coordination, Distribution, Production, Operations, Sales, Marketing, Research, and Innovation in Cacao Source. Our team is highly diverse and consists of young people from more than 6 different nationalities, mostly women.

            B. Guatemalan Farming Communities - 26%

          $3.85, or 26% of the total value, is paid directly to the organic farming communities with whom we work. These communities work with Criollo seeds and own their lands. At Cacao Source, we buy our seeds at more than double the local market price to guarantee the highest quality possible and to support the growth of farming communities that invest in soil restoration and forest preservation.

            C. Kaq'chikel Women's Collectives - 26%

         $3.85, or 26% of the total value, is paid to the Kaq'chikel Women's Collectives, who are responsible for transforming the Cacao. These Cacao transformation jobs represent empowerment opportunities for women in San Marcos La Laguna, the headquarters of Cacao Source. We are always looking to improve their working conditions and contribute significantly to the social fabric of San Marcos.

            D. Banking Fees - 10%

        $1.54, or 10% of the total value, is for banking expenses. There are many challenges in transferring money from online into the local currency, quetzales, with which we pay cash to all of our contributors. 

            E. Administration Fees - 7%

       $0.92, or 7% of the total value, is invested in administrative costs: Rent of our Production and Distribution spaces, hosting of our Website, accounting assistance, and more.

2. Why is a pound of Ceremonial Cacao worth more than $15?

$15 is the minimum price of a pound of Cacao Source. With this budget, we can pay fair salaries and support the creation of jobs that uphold the Mission and Values of our Social Business. However, this calculation does not take into account two of the most important factors: shipping and investment.

Let's put this value into perspective:

            a. Cost of International Shipping

On our online shop, the price INCLUDES the cost of shipping to any country in the world. Did you know this? Our intention is to make the process as easy as possible for our distributors so they can have the best possible price. But shipping sometimes represents up to 40% of the value of a pound of Cacao.

International shipments of Cacao can cost between $10 and $20 per pound. This implies that the actual cost of a block of Cacao Source is at least $25. But this value is only for shipments of more than 100 pounds of cacao. So the real price of Cacao for average buyers is $35 per pound.

We are constantly working to improve this value and ensure that our shipping methods are in line with the ethics of our Company. As we grow our small business, some of the alternatives we are looking at are sailboats and large-scale shipping options. 

            B.  Investments: Regenerative Cacao

Cacao Source is not a company that works for economic profit. Our purpose is the regeneration of ecosystems and collaborations. Therefore, the investment budget is very important to us. By selling Cacao at cost, we create dignified jobs and support sustainable Cacao production. But there is always more!

One of our purposes as a company is to be at the forefront of innovation: we are always looking to improve our production processes, training courses, and offerings.

Another of our purposes is to Give Back. Through our NGO "Give Back to the Source," we can support the creation of other sustainable projects in Guatemala, through training in Bio-construction, Permaculture, and Memory.

Finally, our vision is to be a power of regeneration through Cacao. And this implies not only contributing to ecological, social, and cultural preservation but also contributing to their improvement, enhancement, and growth.

With every extra dollar per pound of Cacao, you are supporting these processes of Investment in Regeneration.

3. Conclusion

There are many different prices in the Ceremonial Cacao market. At Cacao Source, our main interest is to offer fair prices for our distributors while ensuring fair wages and growth opportunities for our team.

Most Cacao Companies will not offer you the same level of transparency to show what each block purchased is supports. We believe that Cacao is a medicine that needs to support more than the people who buy it-- it needs to support all of the labor and love from the communities that produce it. This is part of what makes every step in creating Ceremonial Cacao part of the ceremony. 

When you buy a pound of Cacao Source, you are also supporting our principles: you are supporting what we support.

If you want to buy Cacao Source, click here.

If you want to learn more about our Social Business, click here.

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