In the heart of the Rio Bigote valley

Cooperativa Norandino's cocoa-farming communities are based in the valley of the Rio Bigote - a river with its source in the Bosque de Niebla on the slopes of the Alto Sierra.

This forest of mist captures the water droplets formed when warm, humid air from the Amazon Rainforest meets cold air from the Pacific Ocean over the Andes mountain range. Moisture from these clouds condenses on the leaves of the trees, feeding into the Bigote river throughout the dry season.

The Rio Bigote irrigates a verdant valley that winds between hills covered by the Bosque Seco. This fragile ecosystem forms a forest made up of many endemic plant and animal species, adapted to long arid periods interspersed with rainy seasons.

A coeur de la vallée du Rio Bigote

Gran Blanco, the most unique cocoa in the world

Piura cocoa’swhite beans are easy to recognize. They grow in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest, on the banks of the Morona and Santiago rivers. It is a close relative of Ecuador's Arriba Nacional cocoa.
Pre-Inca ceramics indicate that the cocoa was introduced to the north coast of Peru several centuries ago by the indigenous Mochica tribes. The white cocoa flourishes in the verdant oases of the dry Sierra de Piura, irrigated by rivers flowing down from the Andes. This variety of cocoa suffered from the anti-coca programs of the 2000s, which spread highly productive international cocoa clones throughout the country.

In 2008, the Cooperativa Norandino launched a three-step program to save Piura Blanco cocoa: identification and selection of the purest Piura Blanco cocoa trees (100% white beans) on plantations and in the wild, evaluation of the productive and organoleptic potential of these trees over 4 years, then promotion of Piura Blanco cocoa cultivation and distribution of seedlings to replace international clones. 

In 2013, Valrhona made a commitment to the Norandino by signing an initial 5-year partnership and supported the Piura Blanco rescue program by financing a conservatory garden at La Quemazón. The eight selected Piura Blanco cocoa trees are being planted in multiples, with the dual aim of safeguarding the variety and producing genetically pure seedlings for distribution to Piura growers. 
Since 2013, Valrhona has had exclusive rights to Gran Blanco cocoa, Piura Blanco produced in the Bigote river valley by the communities of La Quemazón, Valle Singucate, and Los Ranchos.

In this period, Piura Blanco has won numerous national and international competitions, and the Gran Blanco grown at La Quemazón won a silver medal at the Cocoa of Excellence 2021 international competition in Paris.

Cacao Gran Blanco


Founded in 2005, Cooperativa Norandino brings together more than 7,000 cocoa, coffee and panela families from northern Peru. Its mission is to improve the living conditions of its member families by providing access to local and international markets. Norandino is driven by fundamental values of transparency, fairness, respect, accountability, democracy and quality of service. Today, all its producers are Fairtrade certified and organic


All these producers' plots are mapped, providing cocoa beans that can be traced back to the plot where they were grown. In line with agroforestry techniques, cacao trees are grown alongside other fruit trees and forest varieties.

Our relationship with Norandino began in the early 2010s thanks to our shared interest in quality and sustainability. In 2013, we signed a partnership that would enable us to work together to protect the native Gran Blanco cocoa variety. Since then, we have had exclusive rights to the Gran Blanco cocoa harvested in La Quemazon, Valle Singucate and Los Ranchos. These three communities located at the edge of the Piura desert, in the Andean foothills, have joined forces to centralize all the work that goes into fermenting and drying their endemic cocoa.

We have also expanded our partnership with Norandino to encompass cocoa supplies from the verdant Selva de San Martin forest, produced by the communities of San Juan de Shitari, San José de Sisa and Huicongo. We renewed the partnership for 10 years in 2021.


2013 Partnership signature

Renewed in 2021 for 10 years

Cooperative Type of organization

146 Producers

cabosses de cacao
cabosse de cacao


Creation of a social fund to support community development


Creation of a Gran Blanco seedling nursery


Financial aid for producers following devastating flooding


Providing clean drinking water to the communities of La Quemazón et Los Ranchos


Building of a new cocoa preparation center
100% of the plots geolocated: the project for mapping the producers' plots financed by Valrhona has been completed.


Construction of cafeteria in the Los Ranchos kindergarten
Installation of solar panels to power a water pump in La Quemazon
Distribution of food packages and medical supplies to fight the spread of covid


Renovation of the Los Ranchos dryer
Construction of a second dryer in Valle Singucate


Drinking water for the village of El Dotor
Construction of a building and warehouse in Valle Singucate
Eye care campaign for the three communities

132 families

in San Juan de Bigote benefitting from water filters

19,184$ USD collected

by the Valrhona Clean Water Project (2016-2017), thus providing the 750 residents of Los Ranchos with access to clean drinking water

33,500 plants

from the Gran Blanco seedling nursery distributed to local producers

25 students

will benefit from the new cafeteria

Continual supply

of running water in La Quemazon


1% for the planet
Single Origin

Illanka 63%

This distinctive chocolate delivers exceptional creaminess with strong tang and complex notes of sun-ripened blackberries, blueberries and black grapes.

Organic Fairtrade 1% for the planet
Organic Chocolate

Andoa Noire 70% Pure Peru

Andoa Noire is a blast of freshness and strong bitter notes that intensifies and becomes more complex while tasting. Fairtrade and Organic dark chocolate couverture.

Organic Fairtrade 1% for the planet
Organic Chocolate

Andoa Lactée 39%

Andoa Lactée is an extremely smooth chocolate that will enchant you with its milky intensity and its strong chocolate flavor. Organic and fairtrade milk chocolate couverture.

Organic Fairtrade
Organic Chocolate

Oriado 60%

ORIADO 60% is a unique Valrhona Blended Origin Grand Cru chocolate made of cocoa beans from Peru and the Dominican Republic. Fairtrade and Organic dark chocolate couverture.

valrhona.com-Pure Origin Bar Andoa Noir
Organic Fairtrade
For Tasting

Pure Origin Bar Andoa Noir

Fairtrade and Organic dark chocolate. Citrus & Intense Bitterness: Andoa Noire opens with forceful fresh notes and a powerful bitter flavor that develops and takes on different nuances in the mouth.

valrhona.com-Pure Origin Bar Andoa Milk
For Tasting

Pure Origin Bar Andoa Milk

Organic and Fairtrade milk chocolate. Intesely Milky & Cocoa-Rich: Andoa Lactée is a melt-in-the-mouth chocolate with a powerful, authentic milk flavor and forthright cocoa notes to die for

For Baking

Cooking Range Andoa 39% milk chocolate

Melodious, Milky, Farmhouse Milk and a Hint of Acidity

Degustation Bar Oriado 60%
Organic Fairtrade
For Tasting

Degustation Bar Oriado 60%

Oriado’s creamy, vanilla mellowness lulls you into a siesta on warm sands, as the sun intoxicatingly caresses your skin

For Baking

Cooking Range Oriado 60% organic dark chocolate

Enveloping, Balanced, Vanilla with a hint of coconut. Fairtrade and Organic dark chocolate.