28th May 2021
This Friday, May 28th, the 'Cacao, Forests and Diversity Agreement' presentation was held, promoted by the Coalition for Sustainable Production with the support of the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA). This collective action effort between the government, private sector, and civil society seek to reinforce Peruvian cocoa's differentiation based on origin attributes, quality and deforestation-free.
During the presentation of the agreement, the Minister of Agrarian Development of Peru, Federico Tenorio, highlighted the international commitment that Peru has in reducing greenhouse effect gases in the Amazon, with mechanisms to reduce deforestation related to change in the land use, to achieve an increase in the income and livelihoods of rural producers. "The Cacao, Forests and Diversity Agreement" is an important instrument to promote a differentiated cacao based on sustainability in the global market. It seeks to generate commitments in the short and medium-term, to achieve deforestation-free territories and thus forming an adequate environment for sustainable business, with a focus on the circular economy", he complimented.
From the private sector, José Mejia, CEO of Amazonas Trading (top Peruvian exporter of cocoa), commented that cocoa production has increased in the last year, however, the prices of standard coca are low. "This opportunity to make sustainable cocoa, related with forest [conservation], allow us to sell certified cocoa; for us is very important this agreement as a framework of the Green Deal. On the other hand, the company has two main challenges: the first is to recover our ecosystems and biodiversity through certification, where the producers plot reach the 30 per cent of forests trees by plot and with better incomes. The second big challenge is to reach traceability through digital systems that ensures a direct purchase to the producer", Jose commented.
In addition, Acopagro's CEO, Gonzalo Ríos, agrees that these new attributes provide an additional value to the grains, with better incomes to producers. "We have to position our cocoa with biodiversity, free-deforestation production, and zero emissions", explains Rios.
In addition to cocoa plantations, "we have planted 3,000 hectares of forest trees, that captured more than 200,000 tons of CO2 and also served as a source of wood."
Luis Mendoza, Manager of the Peruvian Association of Cocoa Producers (APPCACAO) explained that the cocoa sector generates revenues by 300 million exportations. "However, we must be aware that in the last years, there are some trends at an international level related to sustainability regulations", commented Mendoza. "Peru has a wide experience in sustainable production, as we have been producing in an organic way several years".
"The agreement is a collective, voluntary action; we seek to improve this relationship between cocoa, tropical agriculture and forests", explains Fabiola Muñoz, Coordinator of the Coalition for Sustainable Production. "Through this relationship improvement, we will generate economic, social and environmental value, contributing to the differentiation strategy of our cocoa." She also explained that the agreement allows progress to certain commitments assumed by the participants, such as the goal of having a deforestation-free supply chain by 2025, the positioning of Peruvian cocoa in international markets, the recovery of degraded areas for the generation of green jobs, jobs with incentives and traceability and monitoring systems.
"It is very satisfactory that the leading cacao organizations in Peru have committed to consolidating Peruvian production as a benchmark for sustainability. This public and private alliance now faces the challenge of implementing tools and solutions for the reconversion of cocoa production models, increased productivity and the recovery of degraded areas, putting producers at the center"- Daniel Coronel, Coordinator for Peru of TFA.
In Peru, more than 100,000 families are engaged in cocoa production in 16 regions, and it is an important source of family agriculture (Ministry of Agriculture of Peru)