More than 100 Cacao-Producing Families Benefit from the Creation of the First Premium Chocolate of Cesar

La Loma, August 29, 2019

  • The new product is part of partnership between Agrobiz and its Chuculat brand and the Association of Cacao Producers of La Jagua de Ibirico, with support from Drummond Ltd.
  • The project “Single origin: Cacao from Cesar” helps meet Sustainable Development Goals 2, 12 and 16 connected with zero hunger, responsible consumption and production, and the promotion of a peaceful society.

A special cacao grown in the soils of Cesar is the raw material for producing a premium export-quality chocolate. Starting now, the department of Cesar has a chocolate that expresses its lands flavor and the hard work of more than 100 cacao-producing families. These families are paid 30% to 50% over market price for each kilo purchased.

The partnership that produced the new single-origin chocolate bar, “Chuculat Cesar,” came about as a result of relations initiated by Drummond that led the Association of Cacao Producers of La Jagua de Ibirico (Asocajagua) to sign a commercialization agreement with the company Agrobiz, a provider of agro-business solutions. This initiative has encouraged more than 100 small producers, some of them victims of violence, to continue growing cacao in the department because they can now do so profitably.

“Chuculat is working to rescue Cesar’s cacao, which produces excellent quality beans with a unique flavor and aroma. We make fine chocolates for export to help improve the living conditions of cacao producers in Colombia, especially in regions that have been affected by the conflict,” stated Hernan Jimenez, Agrobiz Project Director. In addition to contributing to peace-building and making a commitment to buy part of the harvest, Agrobiz hopes to provide technical assistance to the producers to help increase their productivity and improve their environmental practices. The legal representative of Asocajagua, Hermes Torres, said it has been very significant for the association to find a partner like Agrobiz and have a project in which cacao can be sold at a price that makes the crop profitable. “We organized as an association in 2001, but because of problems with public order and productivity, we weren’t able to reactivate our work until 2012. But with this project, our expectations are growing. We really hope in the future Agrobiz can buy a greater percentage of our harvest,” he stated.

“The project is in line with Drummond’s fourth pillar of its Corporate Social Responsibility Policy (CSR), Comprehensive Development. Comprehensive Development promotes economic initiatives that will forge an economic future, beyond mining, for the communities in our area of influence,” indicated Juan Pablo Arteaga, Vice President of CSR and Resettlement at Drummond. He added that the project works toward Sustainable Development Goals 2, 12, and 16 to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, promote sustainable agricultural practices, increase the income of small-scale food producers, increase production volume per labor unit, and promote a peaceful society. 

Jose Meneses, a cacao farmer in La Jagua de Ibirico, explained how this initiative has renewed the motivation of farmers living in the region to plant cacao. “I’ve been planting cacao since 2009, but the prices were always very unstable with the other buyers we had. So this project allows us to once again really get excited about growing cacao,” said Meneses. He added that this crop benefits the four members of his family, in addition to the workers he hires for the harvest. “We still have some difficulties to overcome with transportation, but we are very happy that now it’s worth our while to be dedicated to cacao,” he concluded.