In Peru, smallholder farmers grow ‘criollo porcelana’, a cocoa variety with a fine and delicate flavour that has attracted the attention of famous chocolatiers. Meanwhile, this cocoa blanco has won several quality prizes.
Cepicafé is one of the farmers’ organisations that grows this variety and it has received support of the TDC to do so. First, the focus was on improving quality and obtaining organic and fair trade certification to enter the higher market segment. In 2014, the TDC extended this project to another 850 families, including 200 families from a poorer area with very bad infrastructure. The focus was on strengthening the producers’ organisation in terms of business management, industrialisation and market access.
This approach was successful, because between 2013 and 2015 the farmers produced 1,105 tonnes of cocoa (compared to 815 at the beginning of the project), 70% of which was certified organic. The farmers sold 39% more and their revenue increased by 40%. Cepicafé strengthened its business relations with 5 major importers in Europe and the US that had opted for quality cocoa and were willing to pay a premium. The organisation is now developing its own chocolate factory to process the beans into chocolate and create added value for its members. In 2015, Cepicafé entered into a joint venture for this with Dutch Chocolatemakers.
In recent years, many fair and sustainable trade cooperatives and small businesses from partner countries of the
Belgian Development Cooperation received support of the
Trade for Development Centre. Either in the form of
financial support or via coaching in marketing or finance and
business management, or a combination of the two.
The goal is always the same, i.e. improve the market opportunities for small producers. Some of these cooperatives
have developed business relations with businesses operating in Belgium.
In Europe, demand for dark chocolate is rising by at least 70%. This is good news for small cocoa farmers in Peru who grow a fine and tasty variety of cocoa in the traditional way. The TDC decided to support a number of Peruvian cocoa cooperatives to increase the quality of their production so that they can conquer a nice place in the market of high quality cocoa.