Market Development & Capacity Building

1 st. Cacao Fruit Pulp Lab

First guided cacao fruit pulp testing with 11 European Chefs and their reactions on native cacao varieties and cacao hybrids

Grafting workshop participants listen while a new skill is demonstrated.

Grafting workshop participants work together on their new skill.

A workshop participant examines his grafting sections.

An example of a technique taught in a grafting workshop.

A group of female cacao farmers participate in a focus group on gender equality.

A workshop leader discusses high quality fine & flavor cacao products.

A focus group of young male cacao farmers discusses their challenges and aspirations.

A focus group of young female cacao farmers discusses their challenges and aspirations.

Project: Grafting workshops

Location(s): Piura & Cuzco

Lead Researcher: Diego Zavaleta

Summary: In February 2019, the FCC began two grafting projects, one in Piura & the other in Cuzco, in order to teach this skill to small cacao farmers. Expertise in grafting is essential to scaling native fine & flavor cacao plantations and is also important for building crop resilience in the face of climate change. The two projects include grafts of over 30 experimental genotypes selected for promising characteristics, including high productivity and grain quality. These selected cultivars all belong to the Blanco de Piura and Chuncho from Cuzco cacao. The final assessments of these grafting project will occur in April 2020.

Project: Focus groups with women and young people on gender equality in cacao farming 

Location(s): Quillabamba & Kiteni, Cusco

Lead Researcher: Gesabel Villar

Summary: The FFC project envisions a cacao market that is sustainable and equitable for all farmers and their communities. To support this objective, researchers are leading focus groups among women and young farmers in order to better understand their particular challenges and concerns. This work will help the FFC project address problems of inequality alongside the promotion of native, fine & flavor cacao.

Project: Quality cacao processing workshops

Location(s): Quillabamba, Cusco

Lead Researcher: Gesabel Villar

Summary: The high purchasing price of fine & flavor cacao is what makes it economically attractive and sustainable for small farmers. Yet,  the crop has to be harvested, dried, and fermented properly in order to ensure the quality that warrants these higher prices. FFC researchers have set out to observe common cacao processing practices and will then develop a “best practices” training program that includes workshops and publications. In this way, cacao cooperatives as well as individuals can promote, produce, and sell the highest quality of native, fine & flavor cacao.