Our beans arrive at our factory direct from the farm, in 100-120 pound burlap sacks.
Before the beans can be roasted, each bag needs to be opened and sorted. This is done to remove any undesirable material that may compromise the flavor of the chocolate and/or damage our machinery during during roasting and grinding. This includes underdeveloped beans, poorly fermented beans, and the occasional foreign object (stones..etc).
Typically, in massive chocolate factories like Hershey's, this process is mechanized, however we sort entirely by hand. It's an arduous process, but essential to making superlative chocolate.