Where does your chocolate come from? Meet Nevardo.

Cocoa producer Nevardo Gómez prepares organic fertilizer on his plantation located in the community of Nueva Quezada. (Photo by Morgan Arnold, for LWR)

Almost 90 percent of the world’s cocoa originates from small-scale farmers (producers who farm less than five hectares, or about 12.4 acres, of land). These farmers face considerable challenges to maximize their yields, including changing weather patterns, disease, aging trees and limited access to improved varieties, inputs and technical assistance.

On average, they earn less than 10 percent of the international price per pound. Yet as global demand for cocoa outpaces supply, there are opportunities for these farmers to benefit from increased incomes through improved cocoa production and sustainability.

Meet Nevardo Gomez. He and his family grow cocoa in Nicaragua. Waking up around 4:30 or 5 a.m., they start their morning routine, growing and harvesting cocoa.

Nevardo and other farmers in Latin America, East Africa, and Asia are learning how to better manage their crops and their businesses, so that they can earn more income for their families.

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With training, you are opened up to new knowledge that makes you think about different ways on how you could develop your farm. A farmer that [sic] does not have the knowledge, I think, is missing a lot.

Nevardo farms, so that he can provide for his family.

Our family comes first, and we have to be thinking about them, about our children, and seek to have better conditions in the future. And to enjoy this effort that is made in life.

Learn more about Ground Up: the LWR Coffee and Cocoa Initiative

LWR believes that satisfying global demand for coffee and cocoa and improving the incomes and food security of the producers who grow them can, and should, go hand in hand.

Learn more about how LWR works with coffee and cocoa producers around the world.