The MOCCA Program: development of a sustainable cocoa supply chain in the central jungle of Peru


For thousands of producers, coffee and cocoa represent livelihoods and the possibility of improving their quality of life, which is why generating opportunities for them represents a fundamental objective for ECOM. By working with strategic partners such as Lutheran World Relief (LWR), we are creating a great opportunity for the public sector, civil society and private companies to work hand in hand to strengthen these important sectors. MOCCA stands for Maximizing Opportunities in Coffee and Cocoa in the Americas

This article details the objectives and results obtained in the MOCCA program through the project "Development of a sustainable cocoa supply chain in the central jungle of Peru" which was implemented through the SMS (Sustainable Management Services) area of ECOM Peru.



MOCCA context and place of intervention


MOCCA is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), through its Food for Progress Program. It is implemented by a consortium led by Technoserve, which leads activities in coffee, while Lutheran World Relief (LWR) leads activities in cocoa and World Coffee Research (WCR) leads activities in research and strengthening of large coffee nurseries.


In Peru, the program supports more than 18,000 small and medium-sized coffee and cocoa producers in Amazonas, Cajamarca, San Martín and the Central Jungle to increase their productivity and improve their marketing.



Objective of MOCCA and ECOM Peru


MOCCA's goal is to facilitate a resilient and growing trade in coffee and cocoa from the Andean and Central American regions, sustained by profitable farmers who make ongoing investments to maintain the health of their trees and the performance of their farms.


ECOM Peru and the SMS area wish to expand their activities and sustainable supply chain to new regions of Peru, as is the case of the Central Forest corridor, with which they hope to promote sustainable production in the region and integrate producers into the international market, offering them better prices, training, technical assistance, and promoting care for the environment.


This alliance provides producers with a number of benefits, including:


  • - The opportunity to integrate into higher-value marketing models

  • - Technical assistance

  • - Access to higher quality genetic material

  • - Access to research results

  • - Opportunity to participate in catalytic financing models



Areas of Work MOCCA/ECOM


In Peru, ECOM is the private implementing partner to work with small producers and connect them to the international market with a sustainable product, and together with the MOCCA program, 2,612 cocoa producers were impacted.


With this alliance, ECOM and LWR are promoting the development of the sustainable cocoa supply chain in the central jungle of Peru, through training and technical assistance, increased productivity and sales in ECOM's certified collection centers, distribution of planting material and post-harvest packages to guarantee growers the profitability of their crops.


"For LWR and the MOCCA program, ECOM has been a key partner in Peru to reach producers in the Selva Central and San Martín areas. In addition, ensuring a resilient supply chain has been one of the shared objectives, improving technical assistance services to producers." Carolina Aguilar, Director of MOCCA.



Producer testimonial


"I am Clever Adriano Castillo, I have been working with cocoa for 15 years, we are dedicated to the crop with my wife. I wake up, we have breakfast and according to the needs of the crop we do the activities. "


Clever tells us that being part of the MOCCA program has provided him with tools and fertilizers for the field, in addition to improving his knowledge with ECOM's field technicians, and with the Cacao Móvil application, which, although he was not used to it, he found a practical use for information. 


"I want to keep improving my performance and continue with marketing, because with cocoa improved the quality of life of my family and my daughter is now studying in high school."



Objectives achieved with the MOCCA Program


In February 2020, LWR and ECOM agreed to implement the MOCCA program "Development of a sustainable cocoa supply chain in the central jungle of Peru", for a period of 3 years. The results obtained per year are detailed below:


First year: Technicians were trained, and a closer approach was achieved with producers in the area, identifying committed producers with whom the project was developed.

Among other activities, more than 300 producers were trained, and 20 promoters were trained and committed to replicate what they learned.


Second year: The scope of activities in the area of intervention was increased, training more than 550 additional producers and 30 agrarian promoters. In addition, two producers were identified and two nurseries with a capacity of 30,000 plants each were built on their farms.

The amount of seedlings sold generated a revolving fund that allowed production in year 3 of the project, as well as the financing of 40 drying kits for the producers.


Third year: The program was consolidated with 50 trained promoters, who provide assistance and advice to the rest of the producers. Among other activities, with the revolving fund from the sale of the seedlings from year 2, another 60,000 seedlings will be produced.


In conclusion, the results of the program obtained during these 3 years were as follows:


  • - 2,612 producers improved their production and receive better income
  • - 02 nurseries installed in the region, with a total capacity of 68,000 plants per year, which provide quality genetic material to growers
  • - 50 trained agrarian promoters disseminate knowledge and advise their neighbors on better production practices and care for the environment
  • - Producers improve the quality of their product by improving their post-harvest practices
  • - The region and producers are integrated into ECOM's differentiated cocoa supply chain



Peru's Opportunities in the International Market


Peru has a great variety in terms of genetics and diversity of cocoa flavor; an important collection of native clones has been identified, mainly in the Amazon region. Today, Peruvian cocoa is appreciated for its high quality and distinctive flavor. Peru has positioned itself as one of the main producers of fine aroma cocoa in the world.  


"Cacao and Peruvian chocolate play a significant role in the history, culture and traditions of Peru's various cities. Today, religious ceremonies based on the consumption of cocoa are still performed in some communities, being considered a sacred fruit, which makes it an even more special and distinctive product for those buyers seeking new origins for their chain. By incorporating Peruvian cocoa into their supply, they have history, quality and diversity for their products." Carolina Aguilar, Director of MOCCA.



Cocoa Challenges in the Latin American Region


Although the region is responsible for offering exquisite cocoa to the world, there are still many challenges in its production chain. Considering that most cocoa farmers are small producers, it is clear that the sector should receive support from government ministries and cocoa companies to provide sustainable management that benefits producers and the environment, since in general there is a lot of vulnerability.


"From MOCCA and with allies such as ECOM we have been promoting the use of organic fertilizers to replace the use of agrochemicals in the plots, considering also the high cost of inputs nowadays. Another important issue is the lack of generational replacement and genders inequality. With ECOM we have reached 30% participation of women in accessing technical assistance services, financing and greater technification, but the goal is to increase it." Carolina Aguilar, Director of MOCCA.


This is a very important point to highlight, since women are still a minority group when it comes to agricultural production. However, the goal is to change this and increase the opportunity for them to work in any field.


"It is very important for ECOM to develop opportunities for women at all levels of the cocoa value chain. We have 60% of women in our management positions and valuable participation among our collaborators, that have been achieved with hard work and perseverance. Likewise, we seek to develop programs that encourage rural women to exploit their skills and knowledge and become great agricultural producers."  Priscillia Morisset, Country Manager, ECOM Peru.



Work Remaining to be Done


Despite having achieved great results with the program, there is still much work to be done to meet the challenge of generating a positive impact on the country's cocoa ecosystems. However, there is a shared objective to continue working through partnerships to innovate in the way of providing technical assistance and spreading knowledge on cocoa crop management.


"Through different strategic alliances and programs, at ECOM Peru, we are advancing towards our commitment to cultivate a smarter and more sustainable future for all. We are intensifying our efforts to address the challenges presented by cocoa while leveraging the opportunities and capabilities that Peru provides." Priscillia Morisset, Country Manager, ECOM Peru



Article written by Cecilia Toro



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