The primary ingredient in chocolate is cocoa. Most of the world’s cocoa is grown in third world countries such as Ghana and Ivory Coast. Cocoa is harvested, fermented and dried in local farming communities where infrastructure is poor, and the farmers and workers whose livelihood depends on the cocoa industry are poorly rewarded for their efforts.
The dried cocoa beans are then sold to chocolate manufacturers in first world countries throughout Europe, Asia and USA where they are converted into chocolate and sold the world over.
After recently discovering that conditions in Far North Queensland were ideal for growing cocoa, Australia commenced growing cocoa commercially in 2007. This is hugely significant because Australia’s first world infrastructure, technology, and research and development facilities allows us to research and develop efficiencies, protocols and technology which can be implemented globally, thus improving the welfare and profitability of cocoa growing communities around the world.
Now there’s something to get excited about!
Who benefits from it?
By adopting a cocoa tree, you are helping cocoa farmers and processors both in Australia. Proceeds from every cocoa tree adopted are used in the following ways:
Local Australian farmers receive part of your contribution to help them invest in Daintree Estates sponsored programs to boost harvest yields and cocoa pod quality, as well as planting more cocoa trees.
Daintree Estates allocates part of your contribution to specific research and development programs that benefit Australian cocoa growers in Far North Queensland. These programs include research into better understanding the cocoa plantation ecosystem and the development of post-harvest processing technology to improve worker safety, production efficiency and costs.
Participating chocolate makers who produce Australian origin chocolate in partnership with Daintree Estates also receive part of your contribution to make chocolate from adopted cocoa trees. Some of this chocolate is then returned to you after each 6 monthly harvest.
Daintree Estates also shares cocoa growing and processing best practices, research results and post-harvest processing technologies and techniques with cocoa growers in neighbouring Oceania countries.
Australian cocoa grower profile
John Goodman's cocoa plantation is Australia's oldest, making him a true pioneer. John's property near Port Douglas was selected for the first cocoa growing trials about 18 years ago backed by Cadbury Schweppes and the Queensland government.
As a mature plantation, the Goodman plantation is a never ending source of knowledge and learning for the Australian cocoa growing industry.
Daintree Estates is closely monitoring the Goodman plantation performance, with the learnings being applied to improving plantation establishment and management strategies within Australia, and also to drive sustainable cocoa farming practices globally.
How does the program work?
All cocoa trees are grown in Far North Queensland by Australian farmers. Choose from several sponsorship levels, and you will get the following:
A certificate confirming your tree adoption
A photograph of your adopted tree
Periodic updates and photos on the progress of your tree
The farmer’s personal story
Your choice of milk and/or dark chocolate bars specially made with cocoa from adopted trees within the adoption period. Seedling adopters will receive their chocolate in the 3rd year only when cocoa trees typically start to bear cocoa pods
Discount code for online chocolate purchases from Daintree Estates
What's in it for me?
Australian farmers need your help. By adopting a cocoa tree in Far North Queensland, you will:
Know you're contributing meaningfully to Australia's newest industry
Be proudly supporting Australian cocoa farmers plant more cocoa
Be supporting Australian origin chocolate, along with the families and communities that depend on it
Be helping Australia emerge as a world player in the exciting field of cocoa and chocolate production
How long is the tree mine?
Mature cocoa tree adoption is for 12 months.
Cocoa seedling adoption is for 36 months.
It takes cocoa seedlings 3 years before they begin to bear fruit. Farmers have to invest a lot into newly planted seedlings before they get any return, including soil preparation, fertigation, irrigation, and in some locations, planting of other tree species to provide shade and act as wind breaks. Occasionally sunscreen may need to be applied to young cocoa seedlings as the leaves can get damaged by extreme hot sunshine.
Adopting a cocoa seedling is the best way to encourage our farmers to grow more.
Refer to the table below for adoption fees, and the chocolate you will receive from your tree during the adoption period.
Who can participate?
Participation in our Adopt-a-Chocolate-Tree program is open to individuals and companies from Australia and around the world.
Adoptions can be gifted to other people.
Commercial sponsorships exceeding $1000 will receive recognition through the placement of their logo on our website linked to their own website.
Major commercial sponsorships exceeding $3000 will additionally receive a personal tour of the cocoa estate where their trees are located (including 1 night accommodation for 2 people at a 4+ star hotel resort in Port Douglas or Cairns, plus 2 days car hire from Cairns Airport. Airfares not included.)