About Theobroma Labs

Theobroma Labs is a non-profit program of Ecology Crossroads established to benefit Indigenous Peoples.

Theobroma Labs Project

Theobroma Labs is responsible for the extralegal development of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Compliance Standards surrounding the use, conservation, cultivation, development, documentation, information, investigation and research of Theobroma cacao at its original sources. It is responsible for decolonizing, defining and disambiguating cacao, chocolate and cocoa from a history of biopiracy and colonialism over a 500 year period to achieve reconciliation in the best interest of our modern society and those who depend on it economically. Membership in the Theobroma Labs Project is open to private sponsors, invited professionals, industry experts and donors. See our Contact Page.

Only the source or origin of a product or item may provide the defining authority to make these types of policies. (Motley Fool)

Our Purposes and Work

Our project seeks to address every aspect of cacao, chocolate and cocoa in biological world trade and global commerce from the origin by the actual authorities:

  1. consult with business, corporations, governments and organizations to comply with International Laws (Nagoya Protocol, Lex Mercatoria, FPIC, UNDRIP, WIPO, World Bank, ICIPRA);

  2. develop international standards based on academic, agricultural, botanical, bromatological, commercial, cultural, economic, geographical, historical, and scientific best practices, facts and limitations;

  3. create legal consensual relationships between the owners of the intellectual property, Theobroma species (genetic resources, titles and nomenclature) with ex-situ genome users;

  4. provide provisional licensed access to register non-indigenous products in the International Sui Generis Patent and Trademark System as fair-use exceptions that do not infringe on Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property;

  5. provide access and benefit sharing agreements with free, prior and informed consent under lex mercatoria for long term and legacy relationships with the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas;

  6. support fundraising efforts for biodiversity conservation within protected areas hosting natural genetic resources or those that preserve native populations of Amerindians in Theobroma biodiversity original areas;

  7. work with local cacaoteros in the Americas to develop and establish new Authentic Origin (AO) certifications;

  8. provide authorization for heirloom plantation cocoa and single-estate cocoa sourcing of Theobroma cacao; and

  9. provide official sustainability, organic, fair and direct trade assessments, certifications and reports in the Americas for cacao farmers and chocolate makers.

Ongoing discussions continue between members of the cacao, chocolate and cocoa industries and the originators about protecting the biodiversity sources of the original genome, its territories, and peoples from where the idea and product is created and derived.

Theobroma Labs is a non-partisan, non-state, and non-governmental project operated by the Indigenous Intellectual Property Commission (IIPC), which observes Open Source and Creative Commons use of the Public Domain under the Electronic Frontier Foundation, United States Law and the Historical Record.

Our Content (Original Research)

Theobroma Labs takes a new perspective on chocolate from where theobromatology actually started, deep in the forest with the shamans of Indigenous tribes in Central and South America that found and propagated Theobroma; the theobromatologists, that created a use for it, made it part of their cosmogony, called it divine, discovered its secrets, traded it with other tribes, passed the knowledge over generations, cultivated and domesticated it in agriculture. Great emphasis on its use in society as a sacred plant was revered and traded in commerce from South America to North America by its Indigenous purveyors.

Some of these first Indigenous tribes remain today engaged in protecting endangered natural ecosystems of the wild chocolate tree, where they have resisted colonization, maintaining their tribal culture, customs, language and traditions; they since their ancestors have been growing or harvesting wild cacao since being found by Spanish missionaries 350-400 years ago in the Americas. It is estimated that there are at least 13 and as many as 27-33 Indigenous tribes living in 16 countries that are responsible for Chocolate™ and/or the Theobroma Genome. Recent research has identified Theobroma in use as plant spirit medicine among numerous ethnic groups by curanderos and shamans.

The Theobroma cacao genome and the Chocolate ™ intellectual property can be consensually and implicitly licensed through Theobroma Labs under AO, ABS, Nagoya, Direct-Trade, Organic, Non-GMO, Genotype, FPIC, Wild and Natural Certifications representative of the original source, the Indigenous Peoples. Theobroma Labs, as an agency for multiple tribes has developed a legal source registry (blockchain) for the types and classes of cacao and chocolate under their 500 year documented common-law patent and trademark issued in 1522 and the New Laws of the Indies for the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Indians in 1542. It is the objective of the originators to repatriate biocolonial cocoa and the colonial chocolate that was misappropriated to recover the goodwill that was promoted through Inda Chocolata in 1642, which demonstrates the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas as the source of chocolate and cocoa.

Theobroma Labs recognizes cacao, chocolate and cocoa to be Indigenous intellectual property with great importance as intangible cultural heritage trademarks of friendship and goodwill belonging to the Indigenous Peoples.

Legal Disclaimer: The Indigenous Intellectual Property Commission (IIPC), Theobroma Labs Certifications, the Indigenous Chocolate Trademark and Cacao ™ Genome Biodiversity Project is an extralegal non-governmental program of Globcal International, the Huottuja Foundation and the Indigenous Unity Foundation; it is not affiliated, associated, endorsed, funded or sponsored in anyway by the Cacao Genome Project which is a collaboration among MARS, USDA-ARS, IBM, NCGR, Clemson University, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Indiana University and Washington State University; or the Cocoa Research Association Ltd., UK (CRA Ltd.), European Cocoa Association, American Cocoa Research Institute (ACRI), Alliance of Cocoa Producing Countries (COPAL), International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), Cocoa Merchants' Association of America (CMAA), Chocolate Manufacturers Association (CMA), Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute (FCCI), Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA), Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund (HCP), International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), European Cocoa Association (ECA), the Federation of Cocoa Commerce (FCC), the Cocoa Research Center of the University of the West Indies (CRC/UWI), Global Cacao Genetic Resources Network (CacaoNet), Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Transparence Cacao or World Cocoa Foundation (WCF).