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Produce more, protect more! Peru Cacao Alliance launched by Peruvian President and U.S. Ambassador

On March 7, 2017, Palladium’s Peru Cacao Alliance held its official launch event to mark the beginning of its second phase. This innovative, public-private alliance is helping transform Peru into a leader in producing and exporting fine flavour cacao.

The Peru Cacao Alliance is helping transform Peru into a leader in producing and exporting fine flavour cacao.

The Peru Cacao Alliance works to develop the fine flavour cacao market to increase incomes for smallholder farmers and profitable investments for the private sector. In this new phase, the Peru Cacao Alliance will evolve from being a direct supplier of support to farmers, to becoming a facilitator and capacity builder for private entities managing profitable business models in the fine flavour cacao supply chain. It will also prioritize the economic empowerment of women.

The President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, the U.S. Ambassador to Peru, Brian A. Nichols, Peru’s Second Vice President, Mercedes Araoz, Peru’s Minister of Agriculture Jose Manuel Hernandez, Peru’s President of the National Commission for Development and Life Without Drugs, DEVIDA, Carmen Masias, USAID Peru’s Mission Director Lawrence Rubey and the Managing Director of Romex and President of the Peru Cacao Alliance’s Steering Committee José San Martin, presided over the launch.

The slogan of the Peru Cacao Alliance is Produce More, Protect More. The alliance is funded by our partner USAID and during the life time of the project this financial commitment will be collectively doubled by an initial set of 16 private sector firms and organisations (now up to 33 firms are partnering with the Alliance) committed to achieving the alliance’s ambitious goal. The Peru Cacao Alliance has USAID support through 2021 and aims to significantly improve the incomes and yields of 20,000 cacao farmers in three regions of Peru’s Amazon – namely Ucayali, San Martin, and Huánuco.

By combining the skills, resources and motivations of public and private sector partners alike, the alliance will develop direct, traceable supply chains between groups of producers and chocolate manufacturers. This network has been structured for long term sustainability by ensuring economic, social and environmental value creation for all actors in the system.

The Peru Cacao Alliance is building on the successes accomplished during its start-up period (2012 – 2016) in which it helped generate over 18,000 jobs and assist 17,000 rural households plant 28,000 hectares of cacao in an integrated agroforestry system. This created a licit pathway out of poverty and an alternative to dependence on illicit coca. Moreover, it provided direct market links for the Peruvian farmer, contributed to the economic empowerment of women, and prevented the deforestation of the Amazon.

For us at Palladium, the Peru Cacao Alliance exemplifies Positive Impact. A powerful and committed coalition of organisations and agencies has come together to create enduring social, economic, and environmental value. Jose San Martin, CEO of Romex is clear on the motivation, “The reason 16 private companies are investing in the Peru Cacao Alliance is that the success of all actions in the value chain depends on the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the small scale farmers. It’s in everyone’s interest to support this initiative.”

For Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, President of Peru, agricultural markets are of huge importance to his country’s efforts to weaken the grip of illicit farming in Latin America, “…illicit drugs prosper where there are no economic alternatives…in the Amazon with cacao, we have offered that…I’m totally committed to this effort.”

The Peru Cacao Alliance prioritises the power of diverse partnerships and coalitions to ensure Positive Impact isn’t reliant on unsustainable financial or technical support, but integrated into Peruvian and international markets.
For further information, please contact the Chief of Party of the Peru Cacao Alliance Dr. Jose Iturrios Padilla, or Project Director Amanda Fernandez, and visit the Peru Cacao Alliance’s Facebook page.

To see some of the impact the alliance is making, check out why The State Department selected the Peru Cacao Alliance as an exemplary project to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 1: No Poverty.