Project Equiori Colombia:

Overview

  • For more than 50 years, the Colombian cocoa sector was largely inaccessible to outside companies and investors due to the civil war and illegal drug trafficking.
  • After the peace treaty of 2016, Colombia faces the challenge of implementing agricultural development policy and preventing the illegal cultivation of drugs.
  • However, the income of most cocoa producers is far below the poverty line, as the average cocoa price of COP 6,000/kg (approx. CHF 1.70) represents an income that is far below the national minimum wage.

Our commitment

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Promotion of local capacities

  • Launch projects that provide tools and training in organic productivity, quality, sustainability and technology to improve traceability along the entire cocoa value chain.
  • Increasing yields, cocoa premiums and farmers’ strengths through education, networking and certifications.

Increasing local added value and economic feasibility

  • Support through know-how and framework conditions the expansion of value creation on site.
  • Connection to Equiori, a Colombian fair trade and organic chocolate company to preserve the entire value-added in the country.

Market focus and long-term trade relations

  • Giving know-how for excellent quality and supporting them in traceability and certification.
  • Conducting market research, technical advice in business development.

Organisational development / Advocacy

  • Improve framework conditions for organic and fair trade in Colombia.
    • Ie. Mesa de inocuidad en cacao – This group is working towards standardizing and disseminating information about cacao production within Colombia. This includes studies on cadmium, an agriculture best practices guide, a pilot farm, etc. We are the only representatives with knowledge in regards to organic practices. So we have a unique offering at that table

Objective & values

  • 74 farmers have been provided with training and tools to increase yields and quality through organic practices and certification.
  • 2 associations have been strengthened to support their local farmers in technical in-field knowledge, post-harvest practices and the fair sale of their harvest.
  •  The intention is to double these numbers
  • Implementation of agroforestry systems to ensure food security and sustainable incomes for farmers.
  • Minimize food waste along the value chain.
  • 20% of farmers in our program are women.
  • Increase participation of women in agricultural production decision with at least 20% of farmer participants women.
  • Support the leadership of youth women in the associations
  • Certified 5  local youth to be internal inspectors for the organic certification process, and they have as well taken on leadership roles in supporting local farmers with in-field practices and quality management.
  • Support the generation of positions for local youth within associations.
  • Partnered with a manufacturer that uses renewable energy, and is a leader in the employment and empowerment of women.
  • Use environmentally friendly packaging.
  • Process chocolate into final products in Colombia assuring the maximum value stays in the country
  • Greater than 200 hectares certified organic
  • The intention is to double that
  • Positive ecological footprint throughout the entire value chain
  • Promotion of biodiversity through biologically diversified agroforestry
  • Combating biodiversity loss through small-scale agriculture

Place

PLACE:

Colombia,

Tolima – Planadas
Huila – Algeciras
Putumayo – La Florida
Antioquia – Chigorodo

Impressions

Detailed description

Organic quality chocolate from Colombia

For more than 50 years, the Colombian cocoa sector was largely inaccessible to outside companies and investors due to the civil war and illegal drug trafficking. In November 2016, the Colombian government signed a peace treaty with the rebel group FARC, which provided access to the regions of the country affected by the civil war. Cocoa has been repeatedly identified as a crop that can bring stability to many of these regions. The importance of cocoa for a post-war Colombia has led to its name “cultivo para la paz” or “peace fruit”, as it is currently used to replace illegal crops and revitalize many rural communities.

Most of the cocoa is grown on small areas of approximately 2 hectares of agroforestry land, which often includes timber trees, plantains, sugar cane and a variety of fruits. However, the income of most cocoa producers is far below the poverty line, as the average cocoa price of COP 6,000/kg (approx. CHF 1.70) represents an income far below the national minimum wage.

The Pakka Foundation works hand in hand with cocoa farmers to change this. It has launched projects that provide tools and training in organic productivity, quality, sustainability and technology to improve traceability along the entire cocoa value chain. These activities increase yields, raise cocoa premiums and empower farmers through education and networking. The ultimate financial benefit to the farmer is generated through commercial alliances, and that is why the Pakka Foundation has partnered with Equiori, a Colombian fair trade and organic chocolate company, to implement these projects. These farmers’ quality chocolate is found in Colombia and around the world, including in Pakka’s products.

Partner and donors

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