| Big question asked at markets: “how do you get the beans?” For the first several months of our operation, we’ve been purchasing beans in weights no greater than 70 kilos (about 150 lbs). While this seems like a lot, the standard shipment of cacao from point of origin to regional US hub is typically one entire cargo container or ~18 metric tons. I think what’s really being asked is: “how do you get cacao beans to be processed into chocolate directly from the source delivered to your door?” It’s complicated, but the internet is changing things.
| Sharing through email and social media, we can now communicate with cacao-growing folks who may not have a landline but have a mobile phone. Yellow-Seed.org (YS) is the site we’ve been using to purchase cacao, but it’s not truly direct trade since YS is the middleman. Still though, in our growth stage it allows us to to purchase smaller harvests from farms. YS “Ambassadors” are responsible for purchasing large shipments and distributing them to small producers. Currently we are working directly with these ambassadors to secure a consistent supply of the excelsior cacao we’ve been using.
| A “new way to ship.” Well, actually it’s not new at all, but that’s what makes it badass. In an age where “custom hand-painted signs” are re-popularizing, it was only a matter of time until the shipping industry went hipster. SAILCARGO INC utilizes sail-based vessels to "make a positive mark in the world of transportation by being an effective, sustainable option. Through transporting freight with a carbon-neutral system, we offer a new way to look at the economics of shipping as fuel becomes` increasingly scarce and expensive. Our first ship, Ceiba, will offer something unique to both exporters and importers: the opportunity to finally close the loop for their most important organic, sustainable products. Transporting products which are promoted as 'green' via container ships feels hollow” -from their website.
Yeah. Cool: "carbon-neutral footprint and stuff,” but I’m sure what your actually asking is “how do I book a trip on this boat?” Right? Well before its Maiden Voyage in 2021, SailCargo is offering Sailboat Trainings for you seafaring wildlings out there. We’ll keep y’all updated on what kind of relationship we are able to cultivate with their organization. This is just the first of many Sailboat Cargo companies that will pop up in the next decade- should we call this S-Hipster? Nah. It’s more than just a fad.
So what do you think? How important is sustainable shipping to you? Part of the Community Supported Chocolate model (that we’ll be discussing in next month’s blog) very directly brings YOU into this conversation, so please let’s start a conversation maybe regarding the following hypotheticals:
What are some possible threats to Sailboat based shipping? Alternatives?
What kind of support can we provide to encourage SailCargo to eventually sail to NYC?
Have a ship to spare- SailCargo needs all the funding it can get.
Any good pirate jokes? Arghhh!