Oko Caribe, Dominican Republic
ÖKO Caribe was founded in 2006 by Gualberto Acebey Torrejon and Adriano De Jesus Rodriguez,who both have over 20 years of experience in cacao production, including working as technicos (trainers who teach farmers agricultural best practices) at Conocado, the largest cocoa producer group in the Dominican Republic, and biggest Fair Trade certified cocoa co-op in the world. They decided to set out on their own and started ÖKO Caribe, a mission-driven cacao sourcing company based just outside San Francisco de Macoris. They buy wet beans from local farms, then ferment and dry them to perfection.
The farms are located in several zones outside of San Francisco de Macoris: Ponton, Pimentel, San Felipe, Los Lanos de Castillo (the biggest cacao producing zone in the Dominican Republic), Ramonel, Coto, and Duarte. Adriano and Gualberto have developed strong, long-term relationships with these farms to help cultivate a better and more stable price for their cacao than they were able to achieve selling to other buyers.