Boosting Peruvian exports of fine and aromatic cocoa
Global consumption of cocoa is steadily increasing, especially for premium dark chocolate with a high cocoa share. In the past decade consumers have refined their cocoa taste.
As traceability and transparency demands are growing, the ’bean-to-bar’ concept is increasingly gaining a foothold. The simple enjoyment of chocolate is no longer enough. Instead people are looking for different cocoa tastes and origins, as well as ethical and sustainable sourcing practices. And there are increasing at the center of marketing and commercialization strategies, too.
The global increase in the demand for cocoa is currently coupled with a supply deficit, which is the combined result of drought and a fungal disease called ‘frosty pod’, that has had a severe effect in West Africa, which accounts for 70% of the world’s cocoa supply.
The variety of different soils and climatic conditions has seen the developed of a range of cocoa varieties with unique tastes, including criollo and forstero, which are also known as ‘fine and aromatic’.
While the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) has ratified 17 countries worldwide as producers of fine and aromatic cocoa, in Peru 90% of the cocoa exported falls into this category. For Peruvian cocoa producers and exporters, this opens a competitive advantage over other cocoa producing countries.
As a response to the global increase in cocoa demand, especially in fine and aromatic varieties, ITC’s Trade and Environment Programme (TEP) will in 2015 be expanding its project to promote biodiversity-based products to also cover this sector. The expansion of the project will be implemented in partnership with Promperú, the Peruvian export promotion agency, as well as with the Peruvian Association of Cocoa Farmers, APPCACAO, and Proambiente of the German Agency for International Cooperation.
Around 10 beneficiaries, including cooperatives and SMEs will initially be selected and capacity building will be offered on the producer and the SME level. Support will be provided to smallholders organized in cooperatives to improve the post-harvest treatment of cocoa and cocoa tasting methods.
On the SME level, which also includes cooperatives, customized advice targeted at the individual needs of each SME will be provided. This will focus on sustainable packaging, carbon footprinting, certifications, as well as marketing and branding. Furthermore, TEP will promote market linkages to international buyers by supporting national events such as the Salon Du Chocolat in Lima.