Today marks another hallmark occasion in the promotion of sustainability in the cocoa value chain as Belmont Estate welcomes De Gallant cargo schooner to Grenada’s shores to collect a 4-ton shipment of organic cocoa beans destined for Europe.
This Fair Transport, wind-powered ship, was built in the Netherlands, and launched in 1916. Originally a herring logger fishing boat, it has now become a symbol of climate change mitigation and sustainable development. Chartered by the Blue Schooner Company, led by Guillaume Roche and Jeff Lebleu, De Gallant “offers a sailing transportation service while giving to people wishing to live an authentic, human adventure a chance to embark on board,” according to the Blue Schooner Company website. It seeks to spread the message of sustainability in transport and encourages the use of wind in sea transport as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a climate-smart initiative.
Over the last 2 years, Belmont Estate embarked on a valuable collaboration with Saveurs et Nature, a chocolate manufacturing company based in France for the development of their chocolate product line infusing locally grown, organic cocoa beans sourced only in Grenada. This relationship was fostered through a collaboration with Crafting Markets of The Netherlands, a speciality cocoa distributor committed to distributing quality, ethical and sustainable cocoa, that connects cocoa farmers with chocolate companies. Belmont Estate, Crafting Markets and Saveurs et Nature, share similar values of fair trade, sustainability, ethical farming and environmental stewardship.
“This exciting venture, piloted in 2021, during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic provided alternative business for us during a time when our business here had severely declined,” shared Shadel Nyack Compton, Managing Director of Belmont Estate. “In addition, we forged a valuable and strong relationship with Albert Smith of Crafting Markets and Saveurs et Nature, based on our shared values. Now, Belmont Estate’s cocoa is used by Saveurs et Nature to make a premium bar, using Belmont Estate’s cocoa and marketing Grenada’s fine quality beans. This year, we are excited and grateful to include some farmers from the Grenada Organic Cocoa Farmers’ Co-operative Society Ltd. for this shipment. This has been a unique and fruitful partnership, for which we are thankful.”
This environmental initiative and commitment to climate-smart production practices is not new to Belmont Estate. The Estate has been partnering with the St Patrick’s Environmental and Community Tourism Organisation (SPECTO) for more than a decade and was a featured contributor to the successful “Glimpse of a Climate-smart future” a zero-carbon, zero-waste SPECTO exhibition in 2018. Belmont’s commitment to Ridge-to-Reef environmental sustainability is aptly demonstrated by this shipment of a terrestrial product across the seas with minimal Greenhouse gas emissions impact.
The De Gallant was welcomed at Grenada’s port this morning in cooperation with the Grenada Cocoa Association (GCA) and St Louis Shipping Agency. Accountant for the Grenada Cocoa Association, Samuel Brathwaite expressed the GCA’s commitment to working with farmers and producers on speciality cocoa, like organic, and urged Grenadians to plant more cocoa as the possibilities in the cocoa and chocolate industry are exponential. He also toured the boat and met with crew who will remain on the island until 13 June 2022 before setting sail back to Europe.
Grenada is pleased to host the De Gallant on our shores as the island remains committed to climate-smart initiatives and environmental conservation efforts and to exporting more beans for making premium single-origin chocolate globally.