It is an initiative organized by the project Sustainable Productive Systems and Biodiversity (SPSB), run by the National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) and Mucho Foundation A.C., and its Chocolate Museum, with the help of a Coordinating Committee consisting of members of institutions both academic and of the promotion of production and transformation of cacao, as well as organizations and companies linked to the value chains of agroforestal production.
The Contest seeks to recognize the excellence of Mesoamerican cacao of fine aroma in terms of taste, biodiversity-friendly practices used in its production and potential in international markets. Participating are cacao plantations from seven of the ten countries that are part of the initiative Corredor Biológico Mesoamericano: Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Dominican Republic.
The contestants sent documents to endorse the application of biodiversity-friendly practices, as well as a sample of cacao.
All samples received codes to be valued without bias and used in the elaboration of cacao liquor and chocolate, which were taste-tested by two panels of experts:
First evaluation panel: The best scored samples will move on to the next stage. Second evaluation panel: The samples are evaluated to choose the five best Mesoamerican cacaos of 2018.
The evaluation panels were accompanied and supervised by an autonomous auditing entity independent from the Contest.
The Contest will give all participants a report with the results of the evaluation of their cacao in each phase in which it participated. These reports will contribute to the knowledge of the product from different perspectives.