ACUMEN ENTREPRENEURS BUILD SOLUTIONS TO THE TOUGHEST CHALLENGES FACING THE POOR
Cacao de Colombia
Cacao de Colombia
A producer and marketer of premium chocolate that sources its cacao from smallholder farmers in Colombia’s post-conflict regions
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.
Cacao de Colombia 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 de Colombia 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.
Cacao de Colombia is ultimately helping to transform the Colombian cocoa value chain into a competitive economic activity while by introducing viable alternatives to Colombia’s illicit crop industry.
Fifty percent of Colombian farmers in cocoa producing regions are impoverished. Over the next five years, CDC’s operation is expected to impact between 1,000 and 1,300 smallholder farmers, increasing their income 56 to 82 percent.
In addition, Cacao de Colombia works with farmers belonging to cooperative associations. This work is helping to 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.