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Indulging in Chocolate & Supporting Developing Farming Communities

Indulging in Chocolate & Supporting Developing Farming Communities

Did you know that by eating chocolate you could be supporting farming communities in developing countries?  From cacao seeds to cocoa beans to chocolate bars – a value chain that provides opportunities for trade and development in cacao producing countries.

Ottawa, ON. This topic will be the subject of an event being jointly hosted by the Inter-American institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Delegation in Canada and the Embassy of Peru in Canada.  On April 5th,   the event, “Cacao production in the Americas – a rewarding path to trade and development”, will showcase investment, trade and development opportunities in Peru’s cacao sector and raise awareness of the role of cacao production and processing in rural livelihoods. 

Peru is one of the main countries of origin of cacao and home to 60% of cacao varieties in the world. Furthermore, according to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), Peru has been classified as one of the few countries where fine and flavour cocoa is produced and exported. In recent years, Peruvian cacao has won several international awards and is recognized as one of the best in the world, resulting in its use by some of the most exclusive chocolate manufacturers in Canada, Switzerland, Belgium and France.

Six Peruvian companies and cooperatives will be present to showcase their products and discuss trade and investment prospects with Canadian companies.  Officials of the Ministry of Agriculture in Peru will also be on hand to promote the availability, quality and special characteristics of the valuable Peruvian product.

Canada is among the largest consumers of chocolate in the world. The average consumption is 6.4 kg per year or 160 bars of chocolate per year per person which makes us the ninth largest consumer of chocolate in the world, one kilo more than the United States.

IICA, a co-sponsor of the event, supports productive and sustainable agriculture in each of its 34 member countries in the Americas. The Institute is currently sponsoring a cacao project aimed at stimulating income opportunities for women in cacao processing by enhancing their ability to access Canadian niche markets including markets such those linked to “Bean to Bar”, organic, direct-sourced and sustainable production systems.  On this project, IICA Canada is partnering with dynamic Canadian entities such as the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST), UNITERRA, Centre d’étude et de coopération International (CECI) and with Canadian, Peruvian and Dominican cacao and chocolate businesses.

In addition to the opportunity to forge connections for Canadian trade and commerce, the April 5th event will highlight how cacao production contributes to sustainability and improved livelihoods, opportunities for women, rural development and more.

Details:  Wednesday, April 5, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EDT), at the International Development Research Center (IDRC) 8th floor David Hopper Room, 150 Kent Street, Ottawa.   For further information, contact IICA at 613 230-1044.

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