Maya Mountain Cacao (MMC) is a social enterprise established in order to connect small-scale cacao growers in Belize with the international specialty-cocoa market. Located in Toledo, the least-developed region of Belize, MMC was the first company in the country to buy wet (unfermented) beans from farmers, and to emphasize the importance of quality in both the raw beans, and throughout fermentation and drying.
For their centralized fermentary, MMC purchases from family farms in southern Belize, committing to a consistent price throughout the season. MMC currently buys from over 400 farmers, a majority of whom have been suppliers for more than two years. We have been sourcing beans from MMC since 2013, and while we have witnessed their growth and success, we have also seen obstacles they face. 2017 was a particularly challenging year for MMC, as they experienced competition from seven other buyers in an area that yields an average of fewer than 150 tonnes of cacao per year. Dandelion Chocolate invested in MMC directly to help them with the capital they needed to build their new post-harvest center, which allowed them to expand capacity and improve quality.