FAQ

Buying & Shipping

How can I request a sample?
We are happy to provide you with samples for your recipe development. Samples (1 or 2 kg) are sent at 10 EUR/kg, plus dispatching costs. Please reach out to our team to order samples via sales@silva-cacao.com.

How can I order cacao beans?
Reach out to our team to order your beans. We will provide you with personalized advice in choosing the cocoa beans that fit your needs. Silva Cacao can take care of the shipping for you.

What is the minimum purchase amount?
Cacao beans are mostly packed in jute or polypropylene bags of 50 – 70 kg per bag. Our minimum order quantity is 1 bag.

Where are your beans stored?
Our beans are stored in a warehouse in Antwerp, Belgium from where we provide the European market. We can also support you to ship specialty cacao globally. Reach out for more information.

How do the bags get shipped?
We stack full bags of cocoa beans on wooden pallets and tie the cargo. When desired, we can also wrap your cargo in plastic. To reduce the pressure on our planet, we use plastic packaging on-demand only.

How many bags fit on a pallet?
A pallet fits up to 8 full bags of cacao beans. Purchasing and shipping cacao in full-pallet loads will get you the lowest price per kilo in shipping and handling costs.

Which beans do you have available now and what are the prices?
DISCOVER OUR RANGE OF BEANS.  Do you want an accurate update on the current availability and prices, reach out to our team. 

We try to have cocoa beans available at all times, although they’re a natural product and the availability of our beans depends on the harvest. We encourage you to carefully consider your cocoa needs and reserve only the necessary quantities and qualities.

What if my order arrives with damage?
Thanks to the quality controls we perform, we rarely run into any problems. Do you identify a problem or do you notice your order is damaged nonetheless? Fill out the damage form on the CMR of your delivery. Document the problem with pictures and evidence and inform us as soon as possible. We will investigate the cause of the problem and follow up accordingly.

Quality & Shelf Life

What are the best conditions to store cacao beans?
Check our page about the FLAVOUR PROFILE FOR SPECIALTY CACAO. Cacao beans are highly hygroscopic, meaning that they can absorb and desorb water depending on the temperature and humidity of the environment. Improperly fermented cacao beans even have a greater tendency to vaporize water. Specialty cacao requires specific temperature control, relative humidity levels and proper ventilation conditions. Proper control of transport, warehousing and handling throughout the supply chain is highly important to maintain the distinctive flavor profiles. Transport duration of the cacao beans should be limited, beans should be stored in a dry, cool and ventilated storage place, separated from products which might cause cross contamination. The water content of the beans should not be higher than 8% to avoid the risk of vapor and mold damage.

We recommend storing your cacao beans in a clean and dry room, with relative humidity close to 50% and temperatures lower than 20°C.

What is the shelf life of cacao beans?
Under excellent storage conditions cacao beans can be stored up to 3 years. During the time they are stored, there is a chance the distinct aromas change over time, which might slightly change the flavour profile. To tackle this problem we deliver fresh harvests and monitor our stored beans every 6 months to assess quality and flavour. If you plan to store your beans for a longer time, we recommend ordering cacao beans packed in hermetic storage bags, prolonging shelf life.

How is quality controlled?
Check out our page about QUALITY PROCESS

Each cacao bean we select undergoes different and rigorous quality checks. We use all our senses to grade and evaluate the unique flavour profiles, based on the international protocol for fine cacao, established by the FCCI and ISCQF. In our laboratory we develop different cacao liquors and chocolates to experiment and test the flavour potential of the beans. Physical characteristics and humidity levels are controlled before shipment and upon arrival. Additionally, we control heavy metals, residues and microbial testing.

Certification

Are the beans organically certified?
Silva cacao has an EU ORGANIC CERTIFICATION, with number BE-BIO-02. Many of our cacao beans are organically produced. Several carry an organic certificate and some are organically produced but don’t come with a certificate. In our offerings, you will read which ones carry an organic certificate.

Are the beans fair trade certified?
Silva cacao has an EU FAIR TRADE CERTIFICATION: FLO-ID 42896. All our products comply with the fair trade principles as established by the World Fair Trade Organization, but only a few cacaos are fair trade certified. For Specialty cacao, we pay premium prices for quality, which are higher than the fair trade minimum price.