Olam cocoa issued a press release and launched a new website for 20 degrees cacao, a company focused on bringing unique high quality cacao beans from carefully chosen locations to chocolatiers worldwide.

After receiving the press release, Bartalks contacted Olam to clarify a couple of questions which we have included at the end of the press release below.

London, January 19, 2021 – Today marks the launch of Twenty Degrees, a new specialty cacao business sourcing premium quality cacao beans from around the world. The new venture is backed by Olam Cocoa, one of the world’s leading suppliers of cocoa beans and cocoa ingredients.

The premium chocolate market has seen significant growth in recent years as consumers become more interested in the provenance of their food and increasingly seek out high quality, artisanal products with a unique flavour and story. Twenty Degrees – named for the cacao belt which ranges twenty degrees north and south of the equator – is responding by sourcing premium quality cacao beans from ten unique regions, each hand-picked for their distinctive flavour and sensory profile.

The business will unlock opportunities for farmers by bringing single origin cacao beans to market that are either too specialist or too remote to be sold to mainstream manufacturers. From cacao grown in the highland Simbu region of Papua New Guinea, to beans farmed by the indigenous Eperara community in Ecuador’s coastal rainforest, a community only accessible by boat. A team of agronomists will work with each community to make sure the quality and flavour of its cacao meets the highest standards.

The Twenty Degrees business model is built on positive partnerships with farmers and customers. It is helping farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices and investing in the growth and security of the communities it works with. This also allows it to provide customers with new levels of transparency and traceability right back to the farm gate, so chocolate makers can know everything about the cacao beans they buy, from the farmers who grew them to the carbon footprint of the crop.

Leopold Palmer, Business Head, Twenty Degrees, said:“We’re on a mission to change the way we think about premium cacao. We’re exploring new territories and discovering fresh terroirs in established growing regions, uncovering unique cacao beans farmed to the highest quality with the greatest possible positive impact. And we’re doing this in a way that is transparent, traceable and delivers quality, consistency and taste to meet the needs of craft chocolate makers.”

Twenty Degrees will be led by an entrepreneurial new team but draw on the expertise and operational strength of Olam Cocoa, one of the industry-leading businesses under Olam Food Ingredients (OFI). Twenty Degrees benefits from Olam Cocoa’s long-standing experience in cocoa sustainability and from the insight and expertise of its dedicated flavour lab in the Netherlands, which will test the specialty cacao beans and help to bring out their unique flavour, smell and texture.

Commenting on the launch, Gerard A. Manley, CEO of Olam Cocoa concluded: “With Twenty Degrees, we are combining our knowledge of cocoa farming and our capability to source from distant and often remote communities with a greater focus on flavour differentiation. It will leverage our existing presence to drive sustainable farming practices and support livelihoods as part of Cocoa Compass, our sustainability ambition for the future of the industry. We are building on our wider Olam Food Ingredients offering to provide natural, value-added ingredients that positively impact people and the planet. With the benefit of our knowledge and scale, Twenty Degrees will create something truly unique in the specialty market.”

Bartalks contacted Olam to Comment on Follow up Questions

Bartalks – Are you publishing the price you pay farmers under this model?

We don’t plan to publish the price paid to the farmers however we do have this information available to customers. We have traceability of the supply chain and that includes tracking the price paid to the farmers, cooperative, single-estate or farmer group on the ground.

Bartalks – You mention the carbon footprint, but it’s a bit vague – can you clarify the current position, the goal you are ‘working towards’ and when you say offsetting, is the plan to purchase carbon credits? or will there be a more natural way to achieve the goal?

For 8 of the 10 bean types in our portfolio we have mapped the carbon footprint and we offset this with carbon credits. In the future we hope to make this 10 out 10, hence working towards! Through our partnership with AtSource, we are able to calculate our carbon footprint and work towards an overarching ambition to entirely offset the carbon footprint of our cacao. Customers will be able to watch our progress and track environmental and social metrics that sit behind the cacao they buy, from the exact carbon footprint, to the water usage, to what fertiliser is used and in what amounts.

Our footprint methodology is based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCIA) methodology (ISO 14044). In the context of Twenty Degrees, the scope covers the production of the cacao beans (for example fertilizer use) and transportation up to the warehouse where the beans are stored in their destination markets. Our carbon footprint is offset through investment in the Isangi Forest Conservation project.

Bartalks – We looked at the site and if correct, there’s a minimum order of 1 bag – I went to the quote screen – can you confirm?


The Twenty Degrees range of premium cacao beans is available now in the USA and Europe and can be delivered anywhere in the world. To find out more about the business and each of the ten origins, visit: or follow activity on LinkedIn and Instagram

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