Ecuador – Training for Utz certification
In Ecuador, small scale cocoa producers in the region of Manabi have received little training in good agricultural practices and as a result most farmers encounter very low yields. In the fall of 2011, ECOM began working with approximately 300 farmers in training for Utz certification. In effort to address low yields ECOM is launching a training program to provide education to farmers in good agricultural practices as well as farm renovation. The program will also incorporate renovation and selected cocoa varieties for planting.
ECOM is collaborating with the Fortaleza del Valle Cooperative, currently certified organic and fair trade the cooperative’s producers still suffer from limited income due to low farm yields. Partnering with local technical institutes the project plans to assist in the planting of a clone garden and building of a nursery to supply producers with cocoa to renovate old and non-producing areas of their farm.
The initiatives expect the reach an estimated 1700 beneficiaries and provide additional income to cocoa producing families.