For those who like their sweets with a side of social consciousness, Bali’s Big Tree Farmsâ€”a large organic agricultural collectiveâ€”has just opened a chocolate factory in a three-story, 2,135-square-meter building constructed from more than 3,000 pieces of bamboo.
Once fully operational, the facility will process locally grown cacao from bean to bar, a rarity in a country where around 95 percent of raw cacao is exported for processing elsewhere. It will also host an events center, education programs, a cafĂ© (hot chocolate, anyone?), and a shop showcasing goodies produced by the 9,000 or so organic farmers operating under the Big Tree umbrella.
Tucked away in the village of Sibangkaja, about 13 kilometers south of Ubud, the new building is a bit off Bali’s beaten track. But with other notable bamboo constructions nearby, including the Green School and Fivelements retreat, the area offers great day-trip possibilities for travelers with a taste for sustainable designâ€”or those who simply enjoy fresh chocolate and great scenery.