The FCIA stands for the Fine Chocolate Industry Association. We were founding members of this organization when it was created in 2008. The FCIA strives to raise the bar and awareness of the difference between Fine Chocolate and Mass Market Chocolate. Melanie currently serves on the board of the FCIA and works with the Education committee to enhance continuing education opportunities in all aspects of the chocolate industry.
A special project of the FCIA is the Heirloom Cacao Initiative. This project's mission is two fold- to identify and preserve the genetics of cacao that produce flavor, and to raise the standard of living for the farmers that choose to grow fine flavor cacao over the more productive but bland mass market CCN-51 cacao.
Heirloom cacao are the diamonds of cacao -- cacao trees and beans endowed with a combination of historic, cultural, botanical, geographical, and most importantly flavor value.
Heirloom beans have terrific overall balance -- complex and intense, long, pleasant and unique flavor worthy of preservation, protection, and propagation. While no specific flavor characteristics are required, Heirloom beans must be distinctive in their characteristics and present special/unusual but well-balanced flavors produced through the beans’ genetics, terroir, and postharvest processing.
To learn more about the FCIA and the Heirloom Preservation Project, and the countries and farms that have been awarded Heirloom status please visit their websites by clinking the links above.