Sustainable Industry

Real chocolate

A Brazilian company is revolutionizing the cocoa supply chain

Dengo was created with the purpose of offering pure Brazilian chocolates – with more cocoa, less sugar, no artificial essences or aromas or hydrogenated fats – from a special supply chain in support of small and medium producers who grow coffee and cocoa responsibly in southern Bahia’s forests.

In other words, the idea is to encourage producers, preserve nature and inspire consumers by reconciling income generation and forest conservation while reflecting Brazil’s natural endowments and uniqueness.

The Brazilian brand of coffees and chocolates Dengo was launched in 2017 and committed to training its rural producers and to paying the best price in the market from its inception, while supporting them and contributing to the livelihoods of local communities. It also vouches for the quality of the fruits and seeds it produces.

Once Dengo’s chocolate is harvested, refined and processed properly, it is lightly packaged in order to further reduce its environmental footprint.

The company’s initiatives are in line with the strategy of the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) towards a low-carbon economy, in particular with regard to the forest conservation pillar.

Cabruca – The brand chose to add value to rural production by managing agroforestry systems, diversifying business lines and expanding sustainable production. As such, it only uses suppliers working with cabruca – a type of cocoa crop in an agroforestry system –, where native trees from the Atlantic Forest region, such as pau-brasil and jequitibá, are used to provide shade to cocoa trees.

The approach to production obviously influences the quality of the final product: in order to grow, cocoa needs adequate soil, proper shading and a favorable climate. Under cabruca, cocoa grows in an environment that is rich in nutrients, flavors and aromas. When shaded by natural vegetation, cocoa trees produce better fruits. In addition, the prevailing approach to processing in the region – collection, fermentation and drying – helps to enhance the quality of cabruca cocoa.

Fazer diferente – ​​Estevan Sartoreli and Guilherme Leal – the brand’s masterminds – believe that all the social and environmental care throughout the production chain should culminate in a remarkable result: a Brazilian chocolate of exquisite quality.

“Indeed, it is possible to do things differently and create sustainable models that share value along their chain,” says Sartoreli, who worked in the marketing of cosmetics multinational Natura alongside Leal, founder of both brands.

A total of 160 families in southern Bahia are currently working for Dengo.

Packaging – Sustainability is also a consideration in the final presentation of the products, which can be purchased in large pieces, by weight, or in bulk, using less packaging. Packages are primarily made from paper.

Cardboard boxes – which can be reused – are also an option. On special dates, some Dengo products are entirely wrapped in chita, a typically Brazilian fabric that can be reused in various ways.

The brand currently maintains 29 own stores across Brazil, in addition to a concept store in São Paulo that promises “sensory experiences and purpose.” “This is a little piece of Bahia in São Paulo!” – says Estevan Sartoreli playfully.