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Cacao de Colombia

Producing and marketing premium chocolate from smallholder farmers in post-conflict areas

  • Company
  • Agriculture
  • Latin America
  • 2015
  • Active

The challenge

For small-scale cacao farmers, who receive only a small percentage of the final value of a chocolate bar, falling cocoa prices in recent years have resulted in low productivity of their crops and decreased incomes. This has hampered the development in the cocoa producing regions, which are already some of the poorest areas of the country. And despite its middle-income country status, 23 million Colombians are poor and 6 million live below the extreme poverty line.

The innovation

Cacao Hunters is the first Colombian company to locally source and produce premium chocolate in the region. By providing technical assistance and environmental training, as well as a more reliable and competitive supply chain, Cacao Hunters enables cacao farmers to improve the quality and productivity of their yields. The company acts as a bridge between local producers of quality cocoa beans and the international chocolate industry by working closely with local growers and cooperatives to source the highest quality of beans at fair, premium prices.

The impact

Cacao Hunters’ operation impacts between 1,000 and 1,300 smallholder farmers, increasing their income 56 to 82%. In addition, Cacao Hunters works with farmers belonging to cooperative associations. This work helps rebuild the social fabric in the communities by re-establishing trust and providing a viable crop alternative to businesses that are reliant upon the ongoing conflict or the illegal drug trade.