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COLOMBIA – From coca to cacao

COLOMBIA – From coca to cacao

Contadini a Cáceres (Antioquia). Foto Thomas Cristofoletti. February 23, 2015: Corregimiento Guarumo, Caceres, (Colombia): The head of a local cacao growers’ group, Ana Almanza, delivers over 200 kilos of cacao to a collection point run by Chocolate Colombia, a USAID-supported collective. Bought from farmers on the small island where Ana lives, the cacao is helping farmers earn a viable income from their crop and keeping them away from the illicit coca trade. The cacao passes through this stop on its journey from the tree to sweet shops throughout Colombia and the world. It is ultimately being sold to one of Colombia’s major chocolate producers, Casa Luker. This process ensures that the cacao is high quality and that the farmers earn a fair market price for their crop. The sale point sells 1.5 tons (about 1,800 kilos) of cacao per month to Casa Luker. The cacao project is one of many USAID-supported activities that work in areas long strained by civil conflict, trying to rebuild social connections and foment trust in governmental and other formal institutions. Thomas Cristofoletti, USAID