Bryan Pfeiffer / www.bryanpfeiffer.com.
Zorzal Cacao believes great things come from chocolate. From our 1,019 acre bird sanctuary in the northern mountains of the Dominican Republic, we produce fine flavored, organic cacao while creating conservation solutions across hemispheres. An expression of our vision is a rare migratory songbird called Bicknell’s Thrush. Zorzal is the Spanish word for “thrush.”
How We Succeed
Creating an Agroforestry System
Our 130-acre organic cacao demonstration farm on Reserva Zorzal supplies fine-flavored cacao beans to artisan chocolate makers. We plant grafted cacao trees selected for their excellent flavor characteristics and then meticulously ferment and dry our cacao to ensure its consistently superior quality. Our demonstration farm also serves as a model for local communities to improve their farming practices in a way benefits them and the ecosystems they inhabit.
Addressing Climate Change
We’ve teamed up with thirteen neighboring landowners who share our commitment to reducing climate change through reforestation. By planting trees in the Dominican Republic, we offset carbon emissions from chocolate producers and other manufacturers in North America. Our carbon offset project is being third-party verified under Plan Vivo.
Conserving Endangered Wildlife Habitat With Cacao
Seventy percent of the land on our bird sanctuary, Reserva Zorzal, is set aside to be forever wild. On the rest, we grow cacao, macadamia, bananas, and other food using sustainable farming practices based on an agroforestry system. Our signature bird species, Bicknell’s Thrush, winters here on the reserve and breeds in the northeastern U.S. and nearby Canada. As the Dominican Republic’s first private preserve, we’re a model for other landowners working towards landscape-level conservation and greater access to global markets. Our signature bird species, Bicknell’s Thrush, winters here on the reserve and breeds in the northeastern U.S. and nearby Canada.
Helping Local Communities Thrive
We are dedicated to elevating communities in the Dominican Republic. Some of the ways we help are by creating jobs in wildlife monitoring, offering education services and employment on our farm, boosting incomes with the sale of carbon offsets, and supporting our neighboring farms with best practices to garner higher prices for their produce.