Today, Robert Rausch has dedicated himself to following the footsteps of his father Jürgen Rausch, who invented Rausch Plantagen-Schokolade in 1998.
Accompanied by cocoa experts and scientists, father and son regularly travel to the regions that are home to the rare fine flavour cocoa, namely the narrow belt 20° north and south of the equator, in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Madagascar and a handful of Pacific islands.
The plantation as a platform: unique opportunities in Costa Rica
Since late 2014, the Rausch family has been preparing its very own fine flavour cocoa plantation in Costa Rica. The farm lies within sight of the mighty 3,325-metre-high Turrialba volcano, surrounded by a national park and in the immediate vicinity of the ›wildlife corridor‹ – a region in which the freedom of the local wildlife and biodiversity is actively protected.
A highly qualified team of specialists deals with all of the short- and long-term developments on the plantation. The Rausch employees are continuously on-site to observe, record, measure and exchange ideas in interdisciplinary dialogue.
On the plantation, which spans a total of 80 hectares, the Rausch cocoa experts and researchers nurture the specific ecosphere and growth conditions required for the fine flavour cocoas. The aim of this is to optimally adapt the plantation to the natural conditions in order to create the perfect starting point for the cultivation, maintenance and harvest of the pure fine flavour cocoa varieties.
With endless care and patience, the team dedicate themselves to the highly complex processes that take place on a fine flavour cocoa plantation. Preparing the soil and environment for the cocoa tree seedlings, observing the blossom development and the growth of cocoa pods, recording microclimatic conditions – everything here is followed, logged and analysed.
The team members regularly report their impressions in a blog.
The variety and origin of a fine flavour cocoa define the characteristics of its flavour. With their plethora of microclimatic conditions and soil properties, the plantations are where the whole potential lies. Fine flavour cocoa trees and pods are known to be extremely demanding, and require intensive care all year round.
A newly planted and grafted cocoa tree only starts to produce pods after around two to three years. In order to ensure its correct development, it is crucial that the tree is pruned at least twice per year to allow sunlight to penetrate the flowers. These grow directly on the trunk and develop into ripe cocoa pods after five to six months.
The experts that form the Rausch team hail from Germany, Costa Rica and all over the world. Their work on-site requires them to collaborate on international, intercultural and interdisciplinary levels – and this is no easy feat. Their personal commitment is what has turned the vision of Rausch into the much-publicised project it has quickly become.
A keen interest in other cultures, the exchange of biological and artisanal knowledge and the establishment of a common language characterise the close and inherently personal working atmosphere on the Rausch plantation. Only in this way can something collective grow.
TRENDS, ANGEBOTE UND RABATTE.
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