Ernst cacao is sold as a premium product. So far, nothing special about the statement. But if we learn a little bit more about the path he took to get to this point, we realise it’s actually a great and never-seen-before achievement.
Ernst started from a degraded pastureland. Although the south of Bahia is famous for its cacao production, Ernst’s farm is located on a geologic formation named “Valença plateau”, considered unsuitable for cacao cultivation (a yellow oxisol, very acidic with high saturation of aluminum).
Instead of bringing fertilizers from elsewhere, Ernst started the regeneration of the ecosystem embracing all species capable of growing there. He developed a set of techniques that allowed him to speed up the recomposition of soil, water, biodiversity and the overall fertility of the place. The productivity grew as the system prospered and today his farm is taken as a hotspot of biodiversity.
By understanding the life cycles of species, their stratification in relation to others and their position in time, it’s possible to orchestrate (manage) the growth of a healthy system with benefits for both farmers and the environment.
The video below is an excerpt of an interview where Ernst describes what makes his cacao that special. We hope you like it!