As cacao farmers in Cambodia we are operating with other Khmer cacao farmers but also with members of different tribal communities, like the Krung and the Bunong. For the website bartalks.net I wrote an article about these experiences and also about our plans with indigenous groups in Malaysia. If you are interested, you can checkContinue reading “Khmer & Indigenous Cacao Farmers”
Author Archives: stefan struik
Why did Holland erase my name?
In mid 2014, I bought farmland in Cambodia. My consultant strongly advised me to put the hard title of the land on my personal name, and not use a side contract with a Cambodian who would be majority owner of the land. The latter had resulted in many fraud cases in which especially many KoreansContinue reading “Why did Holland erase my name?”
One tomato for one cacao?
We can be grateful to Ferdinando de Medici for giving the Florentine Codex its more than well-deserved place because it provides a wealth of knowledge not only about Aztec thought and the realm of the gods but also about more ‘earthly’ things such as animals, stones, colors, precious metals and, yes … cacao. And here,Continue reading “One tomato for one cacao?”
Prison Passport (NL editie)
Deze schokkende autobiografie vertelt het verhaal van een Nederlander die acht maanden opgesloten zat in een van de meest afgelegen en primitieve gevangenissen van Azië in de hooglanden van Cambodja, omdat zijn Vietnamese ex-geliefde een afschuwelijke misdaad had gepleegd op een klein jongetje waar in de hele wereld met afschuw op was gereageerd. De CambodjaanseContinue reading “Prison Passport (NL editie)”
Cacao From Cambodia?
It was the Year of the Lord 1586 and Portuguese capuchin monk António da Madalena was the first Westerner to admire the largest temple complex in the world, Angkor Wat, with his own eyes. Today, millions of people a year visit Angkor Wat. But with the exception of this ‘world wonder’ is no one interestedContinue reading “Cacao From Cambodia?”
Thai Cacao Mafia
There has been a true revolution when it comes to when it comes to the rise of bean-to-bar chocolate makers in Thailand. Bangkok and Chiang Mai are the epicentres of this beautiful development. But what’s happening with cacao farm production in Thailand? Why did cacao production go in a downward spiral during the past twentyContinue reading “Thai Cacao Mafia”
The Cacao Link Between Suriname, Curacao, Ceylon and Malaysia
Considering the arrival of experimental cacao in Ceylon in the first half of the 18th century, and taking into account the start of commercial cacao production in Suriname by the Dutch in the same period, it seems plausible that Dutch traders brought the cacao tree not from Venezuela but from some of the first DutchContinue reading “The Cacao Link Between Suriname, Curacao, Ceylon and Malaysia”
The Dutch Cacao Route To Asia
On 2 June 1603, Dutch admiral Joris van Spilbergen stood before King Vimaladharmasuriya I of Kandy (Ceylon, Sri lanka). Van Spilbergen had just arrived after a 12-months journey that brought him from Veere, in the Netherlands to Kandy. Apparently, the admiral made a good impression, because the two immediately developed a close friendship. The King even became curious about theContinue reading “The Dutch Cacao Route To Asia”
Live to 100! The Secret Formula from a Remote Archipelago
In 1944, Benjamin H. Kean was a 32-year-old army surgeon stationed in the Panama Canal Zone by the US army. Later he would play a disputed role in the Iran hostage crisis as physician to the exiled Shah. But in WWII he was an unknown doctor who, one quiet day decided to visit the islands ofContinue reading “Live to 100! The Secret Formula from a Remote Archipelago”
Who Were The Cacao Pioneers of Africa?
It was a hot day in the year 1822 on the tiny Portuguese island São Tomé, 200 kilometers from mainland West Africa. Governor João Baptista de Silva e Lagos was personally present in the harbour to witness a merchant ship arrive from Brazil. The ship carried a valuable cargo, ordered by King João VI ofContinue reading “Who Were The Cacao Pioneers of Africa?”