Report
Last update: 2018-01-01

colombia cocoa

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Presence of High or unique terrestrial biodiversity

Risk overview

Labor and Working Conditions
Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management

Commodity Overview

Production volume (FAO)


In 2014, Colombia produced slightly less than 48,000 tons of Cocoa beans; a 2% rise from the previous year.

References

  • FAOSTAT http://faostat.fao.org/default.aspx.

Average Yield


Average yield for Cocoa in Colombia was about 3,000 hectograms per hectare in 2014. This is short of the global average yield at 4,300 hectograms per hectare.

References

  • FAOSTAT http://faostat.fao.org/default.aspx.

Region(s) of production


Production occurs in all but a handful of provinces. The top three Cocoa producing regions are SantanderArauca, and Norte de Santander.

References

  • USDA. 2011. "Colombia - Crop Production Maps | Cocoa." https://ipad.fas.usda.gov/rssiws/al/co_cropprod.htm?country=Colombia&commodity=Cocoa

Export volume and major markets (FAO)


In 2013, Colombia exported over 12,000 tons of Cocoa products including beans, butter, paste, powder, and cake. The largest export markets were MexicoSpain, the United StatesArgentina, and Costa Rica.

References

  • FAOSTAT http://faostat.fao.org/default.aspx.

Import volume and major markets (FAO)


Imports of Cocoa product in 2013 was under 6,000 tons. The largest imports were from EcudaorBrazilSpain, and Peru.

References

  • FAOSTAT http://faostat.fao.org/default.aspx.

Production systems


Cocoa is typically grown by smallholders on plots of five hectares or less. Farmers tend to use agroforestry to grow cocoa under shaded conditions which helps to lessen the impact of fertilizers and conserve biodiversity. Poverty is common due to an unorganized workforce and subjectivity of cocoa to price fluctuation and exchange rates on the global market.

References

  • SwissContact. 2016. "Cocoa Value Chain Development | Transforming Cocoa Farming into a Sustainable Business for Smallholder Farmers." http://www.swisscontact.org/fileadmin/user_upload/HEAD_OFFICE/Documents/Topics_Brochures/Brochure_Cocoa_Value_Chain_Development.pdf

Commodity Disruption of Ecosystem Services


The impact on ecosystem services by cocoa cultivation in Colombia depends on which systems of management and cultivation are used. Shade systems, in which the cocoa trees are interspersed with native or thinned forests, provide greater protection from soil erosion, and increase the amount of beneficial microbe activity in the soil, increasing productive nutrient cycling. In addition, this microbial action can decrease the need for agrochemical use, reducing runoff and potential water contamination. However, high-yield, high-input cultivation, which is typically monoculture and occurs in full-fun, can destabilize soil structure, and runoff can pollute and contaminate freshwater ecosystems, especially in areas cultivated on steeply graded hillsides.

References

  • Rice, Robert A., and Russell Greenberg. 2000. “Cacao Cultivation and the Conservation of Biological Diversity.” AMBIO:  A Journal of the Human Environment 29 (3): 167–73. doi:10.1579/0044-7447-29.3.167.

Disruption of Community Resource Access


There are no direct reports claiming that cocoa production is disrupting access to community resources. However, plans by the Colombian government to swap coca fields with cocoa production using monetary incentives, has increased potential for farmers to expand production into uncommon areas in an attempt to receive a larger payout. This could lead to a struggle for access to community resource should a conflict arise.

References

  • The Bogota Post. 2016. "Cacao for Coca." https://thebogotapost.com/2016/09/09/cacao-for-coca/

Extent of in-country processing


Colombian cocoa is primarily grown for domestic consumption. There are two main processing firms, Nutresa and CasaLuker.

References

  • Oxford Business Group. 2014. "Cacao production and exports on the rise." https://www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com/analysis/cacao-production-and-exports-rise

Major uses of commodity


Cocoa is a staple of the Colombian diet, with an annual consumption rate of 0.8 kg per capita, and projections showing an increase to 1 kg per capita. Only recently has production started to outpace consumption, allowing for growth in the export market for cocoa.

References

  • Oxford Business Group. 2014. “Cacao Production and Exports on the Rise.” http://www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com/analysis/fine-pods-cacao-production-and-exports-rise.

Commodity-specific regulatory structure


The Colombian government plays a critical role in the cocoa value chain. It sets the export tax, a subsidy policy, and business-related regulations. Finagro, an agricultural development bank, offers loans to growers in order to boost production and is in close relations with the government.

References

  • SwissContact. 2016. "Cocoa Value Chain Development | Transforming Cocoa Farming into a Sustainable Business for Smallholder Farmers." http://www.swisscontact.org/fileadmin/user_upload/HEAD_OFFICE/Documents/Topics_Brochures/Brochure_Cocoa_Value_Chain_Development.pdf

  • INTL FCStone. 2017. "Interview Minister of Agriculture: Colombia Bets To Add 10,000 Hectares Of Cocoa By 2020." https://marketintel.intlfcstone.com/MIPublic/Entities/_ShowContent.aspx?Eid=1043&Iid=202195&Path=Documents/News/2017-08/1000/Interview%20Minister%20of%20Agriculture%20edited.doc&ContentType=application/msword

Commodity Driven Land Acquisition


Foreign land acquisition for cocoa does not appear to be an issue. Most commodity driven land acquisition comes in the form of locals expanding coca production area for an intended payout from the government if they switch to a legal crop. The Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado uses a principle in International Humanitarian Law to protect themselves from violent combatants that want to force them off of their land. Coupled with directly exporting their fair trade cocoa to Europe, the community is able to support themselves financially and provide protection for their way of life.

References

  • Ecologist. 2013. "Colombia: a community resists land-grabbing and conflict." http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/Blogs/2153349/colombia_a_community_resists_landgrabbing_and_conflict.html

Presence of Negative Media or Advocacy Attention


Recently the majority of media coverage deals directly with the land swap program from coca to cocoa. Experts have been concerned that farmers are seeking to ramp up their coca production in order to gain more in the long run by switching over to cocoa. Coca is highly valued and there are many buyers that narcotisize the commodity for distribution in other countries, such as the United States. This presents a double standard as the government publicly says they want to move away from the illegal crop while at the same time, the coca market supports that poorer citizens.

References

  • Penn State News. 2017. "From Coca to Cacao." http://news.psu.edu/story/464807/2017/05/15/research/coca-cacao

Certification status (in-country)


There are a handful of Cocoa certification organizations including: UTZ, the Rainforest Alliance, and Fairtrade. Also, the Swisscontact’s Sustainable Cocoa Production Programme (SCPP) has a database that serves an an Internal Control System (ICS) that acts as a certification for farmer organizations at village, sub-district, and district levels.

References

  • SwissContact. 2016. "Cocoa Value Chain Development | Transforming Cocoa Farming into a Sustainable Business for Smallholder Farmers." http://www.swisscontact.org/fileadmin/user_upload/HEAD_OFFICE/Documents/Topics_Brochures/Brochure_Cocoa_Value_Chain_Development.pdf

Traceability


The Swisscontact's Sustainable Cocoa Production Programme (SCPP) in Colombia has created a traceability model that involves maintaining information about smallholder farm productivity, number of trees, data on pests and diseases, GAP practices, traceability maps, training, and buying stations. Cocoa faces high rates of intermediation between international and national buyers. Smuggling and high intermediation margins between the producer and the agribusiness have a high impact on the role of traders in the industry and make traceability difficult.,

References

  • SwissContact. 2016. "Cocoa Value Chain Development | Transforming Cocoa Farming into a Sustainable Business for Smallholder Farmers." http://www.swisscontact.org/fileadmin/user_upload/HEAD_OFFICE/Documents/Topics_Brochures/Brochure_Cocoa_Value_Chain_Development.pdf

Stakeholders


The National Cocoa Board in Colombia is composed of representatives of Casa Luker, Compañia Nacional de Chocolates, Chocolate Girones, Colombina, Fedecacao, ANDI's Food Chamber, and two representatives of organizations from the main producers. It has the support of public sector institutions such as the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Industry Trade and Tourism; ICA, SENA, and authorities as CORPOICA Research and the Academy. The National Cocoa Fund finances programs and projects to benefit the national cocoa industry. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is the government agency in Colombia with jurisdiction over the industry. The country’s two largest processing firms, Nutresa (formerly known as the National Chocolate Company) and CasaLuker, absorb between 80% and 90% of output. The National Cocoa Growers Federation is an association of cocoa farmers, and promotes development and modernization in the sector.,

References