As interest in Haiti’s fine flavor cocoa grows, farmers’ ability to capitalize on growing demand for it is hampered by low productivity, inadequate post-harvest processing that lowers bean quality, and limited capacity of farmer cooperatives to leverage finance and stronger market linkages for members. In light of the increasing global demand for high quality cocoa, this represents a lost opportunity for Haitian farmers to pull themselves out of poverty by supplying this market. Implemented with local partner FECCANO (Federation of Cocoa Cooperatives in the North), this project is training farmers in practices that sustainably increase yields and product quality, and strengthen farmers’ connection to markets and each other for coordinated business practices. This project is funded by LWR and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) through a partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
Although most of Haiti’s smallholder cocoa farmers live at or below the poverty line, the potential to be lifted out of poverty by supplying the global cocoa market is ever increasing. Demand for sustainable and specialty cocoa has boomed in recent years, nearly doubling between 2009 and 2010.
With major companies like Mars, Kraft and Nestle in this market, there exists an enormous opportunity for improving cocoa farmer livelihoods by positioning Haiti as a supplier of sustainably produced and specialty cocoa in the Caribbean.
To achieve this, the Haitian small farmer cocoa industry must address the challenges in farm productivity, natural resource management, inadequate processing practices, and low capacity of producers and cooperatives.
Smallholder cocoa farmers in Haiti have increased incomes
Producers have strengthened capacity to supply sustainably produced cocoa in high value markets
- Improve productivity and natural resource management of cocoa farms
- Add value through product and process upgrading
- Strengthen the institutional capacity of cooperative enterprises for sustained long-term growth