Meet the woman behind Pacha de Cacao: Marika

Updated: Apr 10

Marika van Santvoort has been working with cacao for years, and in particular on making the cacao industry more sustainable. Pacha de Cacao is a huge step in sustainability and improving the income of cocoa farmers: the cacao fruit consists of about 30% cocoa pulp, cocoa pulp is the lychee-like fruit that surrounds the cacao bean.



During a walk through a cacao plantation in Ecuador, cacao farmer José (see below) offered cacao pulp to Marika, since she was feeling a bit tired and cacao pulp would give her extra energy.


Cacao pulp is full of vitamins and nutrients. Cacao farmers have always known this, but the 'big' cacao industry only works with the beans, and not with the nutritious and deliciously fruity cacao pulp. A shame, because cacao pulp makes up about 30% of the cacao fruit.


All this is lost in the large cacao industry, but by making a delicious juice from this, farmers have an extra and stable source of income. When Marika realized this, the idea for Pacha de Cacao was born!


Curious about tasting Pacha de Cacao? Visit our store in Amsterdam old center, or order a 'Women in Chocolate' gift box

When farmers open the cacao pods, the beans and pulp are removed.

The pulp is taken to a juice factory where it is pressed without damaging the beans inside. The beans go one way, the pulp the other.

Pacha de Cacao is made with beans from Ecuador:


"I preferred Ecuador, because I have a strong connection with the country, and because of the cacao pulp there, which has a complex tropical fruity taste. So in Ecuador I built a chain, but I still often travel to special places like in Peru. Eventually, as Pacha starts to grow, I can work with more and more farmers and increase their income."




Pacha de Cacao means 'world of cacao'.

Based on 'Pachamama', the female goddess or Mother Earth, important in most Latin American cultures. Pacha de Cacao wants to create a strong bond with Pachamama, and believes in giving back to the Earth. They do this by using the cacao pulp and avoiding it being wasted.


Pacha de Cacao is positivity all over, which is also reflected in the colorful and cheerful illustrations on the bottle. The tropical rainforest where the cacao grows, in combination with the flora and fauna of the Amazon region. Nice detail: the image of the female cacao farmer is based on the lady on the picture.


"Both men and women work on the land, although they often have other tasks. Opening the cacao is often a family affair, and sometimes you meet someone like this lady, who does it all alone. We have one in our design to depict a female cacao farmer, she is inspired by this lady."







pineapple, peach, lychee, pear, lime and honey: cacao juice is all fresh and fruity flavors in one juice

A flavour explosion of fresh and fruity, with a nice balance between sweet and sour with a spicy twist. And best of all, no sugar has been added! Pacha de Cacao is a unique product in the Netherlands and consists of 70% pure cocoa juice and water.


Curious about the taste of Pacha? Visit our store in Amsterdam old center, or order a 'Women in Chocolate' gift box: