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Drummond Participated in the Third U.S.-Colombia Business Summit and Helped Launched a Cacao Initiative

Cartagena, December 10, 2019

Drummond Company’s CEO, Richard Mullen and Drummond Ltd.’s Colombia President, José Miguel Linares, participated in the most recent U.S.-Colombia Business Summit held in Cartagena. The event, organized by ANDI and the United States Chamber of Commerce, had as its objective to strengthen cooperation, commercial relationships, and investments between both countries.  

Within the framework of this Summit, Drummond signed the Memorandum of Understanding to support the “Cocoa for Colombia: A Sustainable Initiative” program. This multi-player project seeks to integrate small farmers within the cacao to chocolate supply chain, through social investment. The initiative, driven by Vicki Hollub, Chair of the U.S.-Colombia Business Council, also has the support of Occidental Petroleum, Citi, and Coca-Cola. The President of Colombia, Iván Duque, received a signed copy of this agreement during the event.

“We are excited about this project and we hope that it will truly transform agricultural productivity, increase family income, produce and market chocolate with a social brand, empower women in the community to participate in the cacao value chain, and create a climate-intelligent model that can possibly be replicated in all the communities that grow this product in Colombia,” said Mullen.  

On the other hand, Linares expressed that: “We see this program with a lot of optimism, since it aligns with one of the pillars in our Sustainability Strategy: Integral Development, which promotes and supports economic activities for the creation of a sustainable and productive future beyond the mining activity, and in benefit of the communities in our area of influence.” 

This project is framed in the development of corporate citizenship initiatives promoted by the Colombian government, and helps reduce rural inequality by transforming the communities that grow cacao to achieve a better standard of living. Likewise, it contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 2, 12, and 16, which seek to eradicate all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, as well as ensure sustainable agricultural practices, increase revenues for small-scale food producers, increase the production volume by agricultural unit, and the promotion of a peaceful society. 

Drummond’s involvement in this initiative also corresponds to the work that the company has performed with Chuculat Cesar, in the development of the first export-type chocolate, made of cacao grown in La Jagua de Ibirico (Cesar). This project was developed thanks to the relationship promoted by Drummond, so that the Cacao Producers Association in La Jagua de Ibirico (Asocajagua) could subscribe a marketing agreement with Agrobiz. With this initiative, more than 100 small producers, some of which were victims of past violence, continue to farm cacao crops in the department in a profitable way.