Discover Heirloom Designated Cacao Farming in Belize
The criollo parentage cacao trees on the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE) nature reserve are growing in virgin, primary rain forest, under a heavy tall canopy. The trees are widely and randomly dispersed, presumably having been propagated by natural means. The BFREE demonstration farm is located on a 1153 acre private reserve that borders 1,500,000 acres of tropical rainforest within the Maya Mountains of southern Belize. Numerous cacao varieties are grown organically under a tall tropical rainforest canopy where wildlife abounds including Jaguars, Tapirs, Howler Monkeys, Harpy Eagles, Scarlet Macaws, and countless other species of wildlife.
Jacob Marlin was born in Washington D.C. and moved to Belize in 1993. He started a 501c3 non-profit organization, the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE) in 1994, and established a Biological Research and Environmental Educational Field Station on a private reserve in a remote part of southern Belize in the Maya Mountains. As Executive Director of the organization, Mr. Marlin is using organic shade grown Cacao as one of many tools to help restore and conserve tropical rainforests in Belize.
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Jacob Marlin, Executive Director, BFREE, is also a member of the HCP Board of Directors. Due to the specialized sub-sector of the cacao industry that HCP is working to preserve, there may be times our board members are directly involved with our programs. Through the counsel of our lawyer HCP has put a policy in place to ensure there is no conflict of interest.