6 October 2020 – Peru is recognized globally for its high-quality cocoa, boasts six of the 10 genetic cacao plant families that exist in the world, and is considered the genetic source of the cacao plant. In the last decade, it has increased cacao production to meet growing demand. While this has had a positive impact on Peru’s economy, it has contributed to Peru making the global top 10 list of countries with the highest tropical forest loss.
Peruvian cocoa has the potential to significantly increase its market share, due to its quality, source diversity and sustainability. Harnessing this opportunity, though, requires changes in production, collective action among stakeholders, and increase agricultural productivity. In other words, it requires innovative solutions to sustainably produce more cocoa without causing deforestation.
With this in mind, Peru’s recently launched Coalition for Sustainable Production is designing its new Cocoa, Forest and Diversity Initiative, which through a multisector agreement seeks to drive practical actions. This includes the development of financial and non-financial services and collaboration among companies, small producers and government.
Advancements in the initiative’s development were presented on 30 September in the forum “Cocoa, forest and diversity: Towards a commitment to the differentiation and sustainability of Peruvian cocoa”. The forum was led by speakers from Alianza Cacao Perú/USAID, Collpa de Loros, Asociación de Promoción del Chocolate Peruano (APROCHOC), the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) and the Ministry of Agricuture and Irrigation (MINAGRI).
“It is necessary to market Peruvian cocoa to international markets as a deforestation-free cocoa, with a positive impact on producers,” explained TFA’s Javier Ortiz.
He also highlighted the need for collaboration with the private sector to address such challenges as access to technical assistance, the need for efficiency in soil management, transversal sectorial policies and country strategies, as well as for monitoring and traceability processes.
On the opportunities for sustainable cocoa, Jose Yturrios, a specialist with the Alianza Cacao Perú/USAID, explained that the business model for Peruvian cocoa must be based on two pillars: productivity and differentiation.
“In Latin America, the cost for producing cocoa is higher than in Africa, the largest producer of cocoa in the world,” said Yturrios “Sustaining the workforce in Peru is related to the volume of productivity”.
He also highlighted the value of a cocoa product differentiated by its sustainability, saying, “A differentiated cocoa (sustainable) will allow us to price outside of the variable stock market prices.” out from the variation of stock market prices”.
In closing, Yturrios stated that Peru has all the conditions needed to enable its sustainable cocoa industry, in a context where buyers are willing to purchase sustainable products such as cocoa.
The Coalition for Sustainable Production is a multi-stakeholder space for dialogue, commitment and action that seeks to promote sustainable jurisdictions and free-deforestation value chains in Peru. it was launched on 17 July 2020 and works to generate alliances that tackle problems linked to deforestation free supply chains; and to promote an adequate sustainable business environment by improving enabling conditions that address key barriers.
Coalition Executive Committee Members: Laura Avellaneda (Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, firstname.lastname@example.org), Patricia Patrón (Ministry of Environment, email@example.com), Dennis Armas (National Forest and Wildlife Service, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ada Lis Rosell (Solidaridad, email@example.com)
TFA Communications: Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell, firstname.lastname@example.org
TFA Coordinator for Perú and Colombia: Javier Ortiz, Javier.email@example.com
TFA Sub-Coordination in Peru: Daniel Coronel, firstname.lastname@example.org