Cocoa Farming Future Initiative
Visitors to the Diamond Chocolate Factory will be impressed not just by the historic, centuries-old building that houses the plant, but also by the three-acre cocoa and spice garden directly behind it. This lovely outdoor space actually serves a very practical purpose: It is a model teaching farm. The farm is a project of the Cocoa Farming Future Initiative (CFFI), a non-profit organization committed to promoting sustainable agriculture, economic development, and the conservation of biological diversity on the Island Nation of Grenada.
At the model farm, local cocoa growers can learn the latest techniques in sustainable farming, composting, and soil management—techniques that will make their farms more productive and give younger farmers the inspiration they may need to carry on the tradition of cocoa farming. The model farm employs local youth, as well as older, experienced farmers who serve as consultants and mentors.
CFFI was founded in 2011 by Paula Burdick, co-founder of L.A. Burdick Chocolate. CFFI works closely with the Grenada Cocoa Association to support cocoa farmers and promote economic development. Revitalizing Grenada’s cocoa economy gives upcoming generations the incentive to protect and maintain the island’s rich tropical ecosystem—that might otherwise be logged, grazed, or sold for resort development.
In collaboration with other local organizations, CFFI supports a wide variety of projects, including a summer camp for local children, a composting operation that provides farmers with affordable organic fertilizer, an internship program that brings American college students to Grenada, and a scholarship program that sends young Grenadians to study agriculture in the US.
For more information about CFFI, please visit the website cffigrenada.org