Published on 3/6/24

Cacao d'Excellence 2023: Kerta Semaya Samaniya, a Balinese cooperative and Valrhona partner, wins the Silver Award

During Amsterdam Cocoa Week 2024, our partner, the Balinese cooperative Kerta Semaya Samaniya (KSS), was named the winner of the prestigious Cacao d'Excellence 2023 Silver Award. This distinction is supported by the Bioversity International Alliance and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and, since 2009, it has celebrated exceptional producers who grow remarkably high-quality cocoa with diverse flavors. By shining a spotlight on producers' efforts, it also aims to boost their cocoa’s profitability and, in turn, improve their living conditions and make the industry more sustainable.

Bapak Ketut Wiadnyana, directeur de KSS, recevant la Médaille d'Argent de la part de Julien Simonis, responsable du Programme Cacao d'Excellence, lors de la Semaine du Cacao et du Chocolat d'Amsterdam, le 8 février 2024.

KSS leader Bapak Ketut Wiadnyana receiving the Silver Medal from Julien Simonis, head of the Cacao d'Excellence program

The awards are a celebration of producers’ hard work, expertise and commitment to improving cocoa’s quality and sustainability. This recognition not only honors producers but underscores the wider importance of their role in the cocoa industry’s future.

Juan Lucas Restrepo, managing director of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and leader of the Cacao d'Excellence program

A Community of Ethical Producers

The Cacao d'Excellence Silver Award celebrates the work of the 409 Kerta Semaya Samaniya cooperative members who grow cocoa in the Jembrana region of western Bali, Indonesia. Grouped together into 22 subak abian, these producers draw on Balinese agricultural traditions to cultivate complex agroforestry systems in which cocoa flourishes in the shade of coconut, clove, mangosteen, and durian trees.

Moving towards sustainable agriculture: Valrhona's commitment to Bali

The cooperative benefits from the support of local NGO Kalimajari, which helps communities to strengthen and develop local crops (specifically seaweed and cocoa) in a sustainable way. 

Bapak Ketut Wiadnyana, leader de KSS, et Ibu Agung Widiastuti, directrice exécutive de l'ONG Kalimajari

KSS leader Bapak Ketut Wiadnyana and Ibu Agung Widiastuti, executive director of the NGO Kalimajari

Valrhona has supported the Kerta Semaya Samaniya cooperative alongside Kalimajari since 2013. One of the most notable uses of their cocoa is in Valrhona’s Cuvée Bali (Sakanti).

We are also proud to have been involved in the TRACTIONS project since 2020, which brings together the Rainforest Alliance, Rikolto, Kalimajari, the local Jembrana government and seven Indonesian producer cooperatives, including KSS. This project, funded by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), aims to improve the quality and productivity of the Indonesian cocoa industry, while boosting producer communities’ livelihoods and well-being.

All kinds of action are being carried out to achieve this objective, including guidance on good sustainable farming practices, financial education, social inclusion and the creation of various cooperatives. Valrhona also contributes its fermentation and drying expertise to guarantee that cocoa is high quality. This project, which will run until 2025, will benefit 3,400 households - that is a total of 13,600 people.

In 2023, Valrhona and the Kerta Semaya Samaniya cooperative renewed their commitment to one another by signing a long-term partnership. 

Bali producteur avec cabosse cacao