Theobroma Labs

Creators, Growers, Origin and Source of Chocolate

Theobroma Labs is a nongovernmental open-source initiative with the Indigenous Peoples responsible for accurately classifying, defining, identifying, legitimizing, licensing, naming, registering and standardizing their Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) in common-law, understanding sui generis Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights and lex mercatoria principles for the legal use of Indigenous Domain and to obtain Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) for Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) to genetic resources, certification and trademarks on an international basis; Theobroma Labs authenticates claims for all types of ICIP (not just the Theobroma genus) that can be identified and verified to origin biologically, culturally, ethnologically, genetically, historically, literally, and/or scientifically in connection with its Indigenous discoverers. Each commercialized genetic natural resource is entitled to treatment by the origin. Title 15 U.S. Code § 1125 makes it unlawful to create false designations of origin, false descriptions, and dilution is forbidden. The most famous remarkable and original creation, discovery and invention of the Indigenous Peoples of Mesoamerica and South America is "Chocolate from Cacao", which is currently available worldwide as different types of chocolate and grown ex-situ as cocoa.

What is Theobromatology?

Theobromatology is the objective multidisciplinary botanical, ecological, economical, etymological, ethnological, genetic, historical, legal, medicinal, pharmacological, religious and scientific study of Theobroma cacao (L. 1753), also known as the Chocolate Tree. Theobromatology literally means in Latin, the study of the Food of the Gods. Theobroma is an essential symbiotic and taxonomic nominal term belated to Chocolate, most often referring to 'cacao' which the most important agricultural, economic and historical species of the genus. Bromatology is a word used to describe the study of food, synonymous with food science. Combining the Latin terms gives us, the study of cacao, chocolate and cocoa.

A theobromatologist is a person that studies cacao, chocolate or cocoa from a variety of academic disciplines for a number of years that may include the philosophical perspectives of ethnos, law, science and religion. Those engaged in growing cacao, harvest, fermentation, roasting and chocolate making together are theobromatologists, even if not referred to as such based on years of practical experience. Synonyms like cacaoculturist, chocolate alchemist, master chocolate artisan and craft chocolate maker are sometimes used descriptively.

Art work depicting experienced Indigenous Peoples (theobromatologists) growing cacao and making chocolate at an encomienda farm. (c. 1671) Public Domain

Theobromatology Creative Work and Theobroma Labs Certification Authority

The Theobromatology (website) is developed as an authoritative portal and reference work for the copyrights, descriptions, legal names, patents, products, registrations, service marks, and trademarks derived or related to/from "cacao, chocolate and cocoa" as/or Indigenous cultural and intellectual property (ICIP) that is acknowledged, licensed and/or registered by the Indigenous Amerindians of Mesoamerica and South America under their Creative Commons (Non-Commercial) and Proprietary Commercial Licenses. Theobroma Labs is engaged in the promotion and protection of ICIP as well as certifying its use under license as an authorized agency of the Indigenous Intellectual Property Commission (IIPC). As the source in sovereign law of the Theobroma cacao genome the IIPC has the authority to issue a range of certifications on the behalf of its Indigenous originators. The IIPC and Theobroma Labs is a private and public collective partnership of the Indigenous Unity Foundation of Globcal International.

Distinguishing Cacao from Cocoa

Cacao and cocoa can be distinguished by users in a number of different ways, the word as a food ingredient has some significant differences. Cocoa became common in the English language referring to a hot chocolate milk and sugar beverage.

Theobromatology (in a different context) additionally distinguishes 'cacao' as the common name for Theobroma cacao grown within its native origins and in Latin American countries; whereas, 'cocoa' is the common name for Theobroma cacao grown ex-situ, everywhere else. Cocoa is also an official English term in law for the common name of the Theobroma tree and the beans produced in Australia, Africa, Indonesia, India, Madagascar, Malaysia and New Guinea. Every type of Theobroma must state where it was grown otherwise it cannot be legally distinguished or licensed. (2022)

It was estimated that there are more than 5 million unregistered cocoa farms remaining in the world and approximately 1,300 original estates or cacao plantations that were established in the Americas before the foundations of the nation-states in the 1800's. Distinguishing the differences that exist between cacao and cocoa is as much a legal one as it is one of language origins, biologically however it is still all Theobroma cacao, Indigenous Intellectual Property.

Our Work (Creative Commons)

Theobroma Labs is dedicated to documenting the factual legal history of chocolate, its natural heritage, scientific information, tracing original genetic resources, creating reconciliatory solutions for the colonial era, examine new questions and resolving the problems that exist in the cacao, chocolate and cocoa industries today. All of the information presented at the Theobromatology website(s) is sourced from the Creative Commons and the public domain in an exhaustive manner, fact-checked and verified by multiple contributors or editors.

Our benign non-state actors are:

  • sovereign Indigenous Peoples of (13 or more autonomous tribes) geographically located in Central and South America

  • steering committee members (16-32 bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturers) companies based on sponsorship

  • individual officers designated by Globcal International to the Indigenous Intellectual Property Commission (IIPC)

  • investors in the Theobroma Labs social enterprise, Indigenous self-governance and licensing projects

  • well-known independent advocates, authors, researchers, visitors and writers that contribute new articles and voice their opinion

  • token buyers in the Indigenous Sui Generis Intellectual Property Blockchain (tentative database formation)

  • crowdfunding participants who are our ambassadors, consumers, distributors and social media advocates

Collaborations are welcome from published authors, commissioners, founders and sponsors. Contact us!

Chocolate Trademark and Symbol

The unregistrable generic common-law trademarks: CACAO™, CHOCOLATE™ and COCOA™ as wordmarks and/or the appearance of our Creative Commons Tapir (Ujųo) are representative of Theobroma Labs Certification Products and Licensing Programs under the Sovereign Indigenous Authority (Official Source of Chocolate from Cacao). In Copyright © 2022 and 2023 all rights are reserved under Creative Commons 2.0 with a limited commercial-use and required attribution license for Authentic Cacao, Chocolate or Cocoa.

Provisional trademark licensing regulation will be made available in 2023 or sooner provided sponsorships. License programs will cover all facets of ICIP, starting with cacao, chocolate and cocoa.

The Tapir is a sacred animal that is known in Piaroa (De'aruhua) tradition to have brought the chocolate tree to their people and taught them which fruits to eat from the forests. Today the sight of a Tapir in an Indigenous village is a welcome sign of prosperity and balance in the world. The Indigenous peoples have always followed the Tapir and use the paths it makes to navigate the forest, collect food, and to hunt or fish.

The Tapir is the only animal other than humans which is known to migrate the Theobroma cacao seed overland, across rivers, and throughout the forests.

Disclaimer: "Theobromatology", "Indigenous Chocolate", "Forest-to-Bar" and "Guardians of the Forest" are trademarks protected in first-use by Globcal International used to describe and identify the Indigenous peoples' selective process method of discovery of the use of biogenetic and entheogenic resources that have great economic value used by mankind with a social demand that form part of endangered biodiverse ecosystems or biomes, as trademarks they represent commercial brand names associated with selling cacao and chocolate. Theobroma Labs (the tradename) treats all types of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (not just Theobroma) that are identified, native, or traceable based on biological origins within sovereign Indigenous territories in a direct-trade relationship with similarly Indigenous owned social enterprises.