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fair cocoa

 

ico cibo internaecucao SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION OF COCOA IN ECUADOR – ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AND PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN THE INTEGRATED VALUE CHAIN OF FINE AROMATIC BIOLOGICAL COCOA, IN THE PROVINCE OF ESMERALDAS, ECUADOR

 

where

Ecuador, Province of Esmeraldas

DURATION

From March 1, 2015 to February 28, 2018

 

CONTEXT

Despite being the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality fine aromatic cocoa – and ranked among upper-middle income countries - Ecuador shows a strong inequity in the distribution of wealth and resources. The province of Esmeraldas is characterized by strong social inequalities and ethnic and cultural discrimination, with poverty rates that are among the highest of the country. The production of fine aromatic cocoa - the main local agricultural cultivation - has shown an extremely low return.

It also lacks the value added that could potentially arise from the high quality of raw material. In addition, a significant organizational weakness emerges among the producers., together with a clear inability to "network". The project, therefore, aims, on the one side, to strengthen the entire value chain of fine cocoa in Esmeraldas and, on the other to facilitate the biological certification process as well as the product promotion on the domestic and international market. Thanks to the technical assistance provided to producers in the cultivation, post-harvest and commercialization processes, rural and local micro-entrepreneurial ventures (including social enterprises) may develop and grow. This approach will also lead to the creation of synergies with the private sector and with the fair trade network. A key role will be played by women at every stage of the production chain. Moreover, the project foresees an interaction with the local government, to support the drafting and the adoption of a regional law of economic inclusion of women

 


 

Objectives

  • Promotion of an integrated value chain of fine organic aromatic cocoa, certified under fair trade standards for producers of Esmeraldas, based on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) and environmental sustainability.

 

Activities

  • Zoning of agricultural land, reforestation of degraded areas, establishment of nurseries for the production of native species, establishment of agro-forestry parcels involving the use of biological control techniques;
  • Trainings to provide technical assistance to cocoa producers;
  • Programs of biological soil fertilization and genetic improvement of fine cocoa of Esmeraldas;
  • Agro-ecological education campaign for producers;
  • Training and technical assistance on post-harvest processes (fermentation, drying, parcels preparation);
  • Preparation of a manual on production flows and a related training for its use;
  • Training on costing and pricing for associations of producers, manufacturers and the social enterprise ProducOrganic;
  • Training on fair trade principles and values;
  • Introduction of a new sustainable management model of MPCFAE - Mesa Provincial del Cacao Fino de Aroma de Esmeraldas (Provincial Board of Fine Aromatic Cocoa of Esmeraldas);
  • Development of a system origin designation of aromatic cocoa of Esmeraldas;
  • Creation and implementation of a communication and marketing strategy;
  • Participation in Expo 2015 and international fairs;
  • Feasibility study, launch and equipment of ProducOrgani, a social enterprise for the transformation of cocoa beans;
  • Support for the drafting of a Regional Law of Economic Inclusion of Women; organization of events on "gender", in collaboration with the Mesa de Género Region of Esmeraldas (GEWE); creation of a Commission of Gender at the Provincial Board of Fine Aromatic Cocoa.
  • Implementation of gender strategies in cocoa producers’ organization of the province.

 

IMPACT

Direct Beneficiaries:
2,188 families of cocoa farmers, including approximately 10,940 people. Half of the beneficiaries are women, who are members of grassroots associations represented at the Mesa Provincial de Cacao. The population is very young (50% under 20 years of age) and of mixed ethnic origin, Afro-Ecuadorian and indigenous.

Indirect Beneficiaries:
5,110 families (25,550 people): business partners (suppliers) of associations connected to the Mesa Provincial, which will benefit from the creation of the value added in the production chain.


 

SUSTAINABILITY

From a financial point of view, the sale of certified cocoa and cocoa paste will generate revenues 25% higher than just beans. The strengthening of trade relations with Italian stakeholders will allow the commercial viability of the supply chain. This intervention will enable to meet the growing demand for cocoa in the world market as well as the expansion of fair trade. The direct involvement of local institutions in the project, such as the Decentralized Autonomous Government of the Province of Esmeraldas, will secure political-institutional sustainability in accordance with regional public policies and strategies.

In addition, the project includes the creation of legislative acts (Regional Law of Gender Equality) and inter-institutional frameworks (Working Table on Gender and Cocoa). Finally, the project will have a strong environmental impact: the cultivation of cocoa is organic and the reforested areas will secure the protection of soils and sources


 

PROJECT SUMMARY

Total Value::
1.272.152  €

 

Main Donor:


mae Ministero degli Affari Esteri - Cooperazione Italiana

Partner:
GADPE - Governo Autonomo Decentrato della Regione di Esmeraldas
CEFODI - Corporazione di Esmeraldas per la Formazione e lo Sviluppo Locale
UOPROCAE - Unione delle Organizzazioni di Produttori di Cacao a Nord di Esmeraldas

Other organizations:
Ctm Altromercato
Domori S.r.l.

 

BEYOND THE PROJECT


>>> More info about Cocoa Inclusive Business in Ecuador

>>> Check out pictures and infographics of the Fair Cocoa project in Ecuador

>>> Look at the project brochure