Innovating together for the sustainable cocoa of the future

Cacao Forest aims to create the sustainable cocoa of the future. Through agroforestry – growing cocoa trees alongside other types of tree – we hope to create innovative agricultural models that will increase the quality and productivity of the cocoa trees, improve farmers’ livelihoods and protect the environment.

To truly change the way cocoa is grown and to have a positive impact on farmers’ lives and the environment, we are working together with people all along the value chain, from producers and researchers, to NGOs, private companies and customers. Together we are innovating together for the sustainable cocoa cultivation of tomorrow.

We will bring a revolution into the cocoa industry!


Current cocoa farming methods, though technically viable, are simply not sustainable for small farmers.  We believe that to ensure the future of cocoa and the livelihoods of those work with it, we need to do things differently. Cacao Forest aims to develop lasting agroforestry-based solutions that are adapted to needs and limitations of smallholder farmers. For us, the best way to achieve this is through extensive, scientific research that draws upon analysis of existing practices, collaborative creation of new cocoa cultivation models and the involvement of stakeholders all along the value chain.

Innovation is at the heart of Cacao Forest. Our approach aims to establish alternative ways of growing cocoa to the mainstream model, which is intensive and unsustainable. We develop these new methods through applied research and by drawing on the expertise of different actors throughout our value chain. The scale and nature of our work is groundbreaking, drawing as it does on multidisciplinary research, from agaronomy to socio-economics, as well as on the design and transfer of innovation, that brings together a multitude of actions on the plantation and in so doing, creates a regional impact. We work with farmers in a number of cocoa growing regions across the world, developing new, effective and sustainable methods that work for all. Together, we are innovating to pioneer an alternative approach to cocoa, an approach based on sustainable agroforestry models that tomorrow we believe will be the norm.

Cacao Forest is a new way of working. We believe in collaboration and partnership, rather than in competition. For a viable alternative approach to agriculture to flourish, the solutions we create must work for all involved. Through Cacao Forest, private companies, scientists, educators, and end-consumers are for the first time partnering with producers and local experts to create a way to grow cocoa that will help society and the environment over the long term.

Our focus is on the long-term future of cocoa. We want to find lasting solutions that will improve farmers’ lives and improve the resilience of the cocoa sector as a whole. We believe that it is only possible to improve farmers’ livelihoods over the long term if the agroforestry models we develop also help the environment. Agroforestry-based solutions work with the local environment, not against it, increasing the likelihood that they will take root and flourish long term. We aim build a solid base of sustainable practices that make a positive impact across the value chain and inspire others to join us. Ultimately, our aim is that the new models we develop become widely adopted, creating a truly sustainable cocoa industry.


Weiss - pronounce it however however you like!

In order to preserve this artisanal tradition and expertise, Weiss today maintains complete control over the entire production chain and continues to innovate with and for their treasured clientele. At Weiss, they only source the the very best raw materials, and use them to create high quality chocolate for their customers. 

TFT is an international non-profit organisation helping transform supply chains for benefit of people and nature. TFT acts on the ground in forests, farms and factories to help create products that respect the environment and improve people's lives. Our staff operate at key stages in the supply chain, from our members procurement departments, to raw material extraction, production, distribution and consumption.

Bjorg, Bonneterre et Compagnie is the leader in Organic in France. Since 45 years, the company offers food alternatives by developing organic and fair trade products. Among its brands, Alter Eco gives value to small producers and defends the family and biological farming model. In 2015, the company, which employs 440 people, generated 291 million euro turnover from which 70% based on organic agriculture.


CIRAD is a French agricultural research organization working for development in the South and the French overseas regions. Its research work is generally conducted in partnership with more than 150 institutions located in a hundred Southern countries. CIRAD works with developing countries to generate and pass on new knowledge, support agricultural development and fuel the debate on the main global issues concerning agriculture. With its 800 researchers, CIRAD establishes its programming from the development needs, from field to laboratory, from scale to global one.


Terra Isara is lending support to an international applied research program on the development of new sustainable agricultural systems in cacao farming. The objective is to sustain a high quality production of cacao beans, respecting crop diversity and protecting natural resources while making it possible for producers to lead a decent life by guaranteeing a fair price. Work has begun in the Dominican Republic and will extend progressively to Peru, Madagascar, Ecuador and the Ivory Coast.



French chocolatier Valrhona has been creating exceptional chocolate since 1922. Created by pastry chefs for pastry chefs, Valrhona uses all its expertise, exacting standards and passion to help gastronomy professionals make every gourmet experience an outstanding one. Because dialogue and ethics are two of its constant concerns, Valrhona fosters long-term co-development relationships with planters and top chefs so that we can all respect nature and our fellow man.


For more than 110 years, Révillon has developped the passion of the chocolate and devote all its great experience for greediness and the festive moments to share. It is in 1920 that Révillon, strong of its success becomes true companies industrial and specializes in the manufacture of Papillotes and has become the 1st French manufacturing. Now, Révillon Chocolatier is known as a dynamic brand specialised in seasonal chocolate, combinating its know-how of chocolate maker, innovation and quality.

ISARA-Lyon is a French school of engineering specialized in agriculture, food and environmental science. More than 3'600 engineers have graduated from ISARA since its foundation in 1968, and are now contributing to the development of agricultural and food sectors. In addition to the higher education programmes (engineering degree and international bachelor and master programmes), ISARA-Lyon proposes consultancy and research activities in cooperation with professional and economic actors.


Relais Desserts has rallied the elite of haute patisserie for over thirty five years, making it shine all over the world.

Relais Desserts Pastry Chefs share the same degree of passion and search for excellence, and their talent, as well as the level of their demand have made of Relais Desserts a label for quality, a reference in the world of pastry and chocolate. It was obvious for Relais Dessert to join Cacao Forest project and to be part of creating the sustainable cocoa of the future.