This project, initiated by the chocolate maker Chocolats Halba and locally conducted with the APROSACAO cooperative and the local NGO Helvetas, aims at developing a high-quality fair and organic (organic farming, agroforestry) cocoa production in Honduras.
In 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated 70% of crops in Honduras, causing irreversible destruction of cocoa fields in the north and a subsequent development of a new area of cocoa production in the eastern part of the country.
Twenty years later, the production of cocoa in Honduras still faces many environmental (deforestation, use of pesticides, reduced soil fertility, water depletion, climate change) and social (trafficking and child labor particular) issues. PUR Projet supports the chocolate maker Chocolats Halba and Coop Group in the implementation of a sustainable cocoa sector in the Patuca region in Honduras.
Patuca National Park is the second largest area of protection of the biodiversity of the Mesoamerican corridor: it is of decisive importance for the flora and fauna as well as the groundwater balance of the whole region.
The APROSACAO cooperative of cocoa farmers and the homeground NGO Helvetas are the local partners of the project. They aim to develop a high-quality fair (fair trade, protection and empowerment of people) and ecofriendly (organic) cocoa pipeline for Halba, helping farmers to develop agroforestry or silvopastoral models for their livestock.
Main guidelines of the project are the agroforestry plantations (fruit trees, woods and cocoa) on 150 hectares in partnership with 150 farm families; technical support and training of the producers by Helvetas; the creation of a collective (cooperative type) to manage the fermentation, drying and marketing of cocoa; support process improvement cocoa processing, especially drying and fermentation.
Main benefits are:
– extended crop areas without deforestation and increased volume of cocoa production;
– short-term profits due to the diversification of sources of income (sale of fruit), reforestation and continuous improvement of the lives of cocoa farmers (to facilitate the introduction of cocoa);
– continuous improvement of quality and quality control of construction.
LocationOlancho region, Honduras
Agroforestry and reforestation
Local partnerAPROSACAO cooperative
Participantsmore than 400 Fair Trade and organic cocoa farmers
Achievements200,000 trees planted (October 2014)
ACOPAGRO is a small-scale farmers cooperative founded in 2008 thanks to an agroforestry pilot project launched by Chocolats Halba and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation. They started to plant cocoa with timber trees in 2008. The cocoa they produce is exported to Switzerland under Fair Trade and Organic conditions. They also produce and sell bananas for the local market.
Over 400 farmers located in various small remote communities of Cuyamel, Rio Tinto, Rio Blanco areas. They are breeders traditionally, and have only started in the last years to plant cocoa with the help of FHH, Chocolats Halba, and Coop. Farmers are very poor, and earn in average 700 euros/year/family mainly from livestock (milk and meat) and money sent from families abroad. With initial cocoa plantations they can earn in average up to 1200 euros / year.