Bouga CacaO is a family artisanal chocolate company based in the department of the Ariège, in the French Pyrenees. It was founded in 2006 by Ulrike Bongartz and Alex Gareiss, two former consultants in international development cooperation.
They produce a variety of organic chocolate products which are commercialised mainly locally via organic shops and supermarkets. They also directly cooperate with and support cocoa farmers and their organisations in Ecuador.
Indeed, Bouga CacaO partners directly with various small-scale farmers’ organisations, local NGOs and community organisations there.
Their aims include promoting the transformation of cocoa into chocolate couverture and other products in the country of origin in order to contribute to local added value generation and thus to sustainable development. While the raw cocoa is transformed locally, the intermediary products are shipped to Europe.
The organisation proposes also a “project partnership programme” for other chocolatiers in Europe who are interested in their approach. This programme allows the latter to participate and access directly the very distinct cocoa origins without passing through the big industrial circuits.
Other values they defend are the transparency of their trade practices, local cooperation and the valorisation of manual & non-industrial production (artisan chocolate).