Jean Francois Dargein, born in 1966, agronomist and oenologist, starts his career in wine and then chooses the “coffee route” and spends 2 years between Gabon and São Tomé Island to study and coordinate the work in the plantations. He then develops interesting production and sales projects for some typical tropical produce with strong added value (quality coffee in Costa Rica, the best tobacco varieties in Central Africa and rare cocoa varieties in Venezuela). Thanks to the support of Valrhona and some local partners, he starts a company in Venezuela with the objective of researching and selecting the finest cocoa varieties, and begins the development of a plantation with over 180 hectares of Porcelana cocoa.
This variety – originally from the Southern side of lake Maracaibo – produces particularly fine fruits with reference to their subtleness and aromatic richness. During the Nineties the variety was listed among those risking extinction. Being highly appreciated by the market, once recuperated, Venezuela has made of it a symbol of its agricultural excellence. After having spent 6 years in Venezuela, Dargein returns to France and takes the role of cocoa expert with the mission of identifying the most rare varieties, developing the best cooperation with small local producers and coordinating numerous research projects, from the production processes (selection, fermentation, drying) to the introduction of new cultivation methods. Thanks to this mission, Dargein has travelled all around the world and is now at home in Brazil as well as in Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Cuba, Madagascar, São Tomé Island...
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