Small-Scale Sustainable Farms
River-Sea Chocolates partners with small-scale growers who use sustainable farming methods. Many of the farms we work with are too small and remote to afford international certifications like Fair Trade or Organic, but we live by these principles in our business practices.
Cacao farming and direct trade empowers community development and provides incentive for natives of tropical countries to work in an environmentally friendly way, maintaining natural forestry and Earth's oxygen. Cacao trees can be planted in the shade of existing jungle canopy, discouraging logging or other devastating options that exploit vital habitats and contribute to species extinction.
Your purchase supports educational programs for litter clean-up and prevention in the Amazon River Basin.
Your chocolate purchases support Amazon River cleanup!
The project is called #projetoSUPaneiro, run by Super Acao Standup. Owners Ruy Montalvao and Thaissa Scerne take volunteers throughout the year to paddle on SUPs and grab litter from rivers and tributaries in the Amazon Delta region (where our owner Mariano grew up). River-Sea's contributions pay for supplies, lunches, boat rentals, recording equipment, and create jobs.
A second aspect of our support funds educational eco-fitness programs, where low-income children learn SUP and embrace environmental stewardship along the way. Ruy takes groups of kids from the city on SUP excursions to visit traditional river communities, a fun way to be in nature and learn the importance of taking care of the forest, rivers, oceans, and to preserve ecology for the future of the planet.
ProjetoSUPaneiro reinforces the importance of preserving waterways and seeks to spread better perspectives of relating to our rivers and seas while strengthening ties to local communities. Volunteers model self-responsibility, develop and share new behaviors that reduce negative impacts on the environment and try to improve the quality of all of our shared waters.
Sail Cargo Project
Pioneering Pollution Free Trade!
We're excited to announce we are reviving USA’s over 100 year old sail cargo trade by bringing cacao beans via wind powered cargo ship!
April 18, 2019 we welcomed the first shipment of sustainably harvested AND sustainably shipped cocoa beans using the Tres Hombres: a cargo vessel that is driven only by wind. The ship, under the helm of Captain Remi Lavergne, docked at the Port of Morehead City on Thursday, April 18 at 8:30 p.m.
With this project, we demonstrate sail transport as a viable emission-free option for the small business import/export sector. Sail transport reduces carbon emissions by 99% over conventional cargo transport, while providing a more nimble and efficient sustainable solution for trade.
Please join us in sharing and stoking the Fair Transport evolution!
This shipment of cacao was the very first Sail Cargo shipment allowed in the USA since motorized cargo became the convention! Over 100 years!
Over 90 percent of world trade is carried by around 90,000 marine vessels, and these ships collectively produce more carbon dioxide emissions than cars.
See why we are doing this:
Only 4 sail cargo ships exist in the world! A further objective of this project is to fund the restoration/construction of more sail vessels, increase routes and further grow this movement.
The Sierra Nevada Beans
The sail cargo beans are sourced from the Sierra Nevada region of Colombia, a very unique coastal mountain range, where you can see snow-capped mountains overlooking the Caribbean sea. The beans are grown by indigenous farmers both traditionally and with the help of an international project established to eliminate cocaine trafficking.
River-Sea owners Krissee and Mariano visited Santa Marta Colombia to meet with the people who made this emission-free cacao possible.
This included farmers, facilitators, suppliers, some of the Tres Hombres ship crew and the ship captain, Remi Lavergne!
UPDATE 4/18/2019: Our beans made it to USA! Things were stressful yesterday, as the weather had turned and we were informed by the towing company that their insurance would not cover them to tow the vessel from the channel into the port. But with a storm approaching, there was no turning back. Once we were clear with compliance with US Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday, the ship needed to race to make it into the Port before wind and storm. They attempted to navigate into the port unassisted - in the dark, but the towing company appeared and saved the day to park them safely at harbor. Crew, ship, and our cacao beans made it to USA!