Food Thoughts originally pioneered Fairtrade Cocoa with Oxfam in 1989. Today the finest Organic Cocoa Beans are grown on small family farms in the Dominican Republic for Accredited Fairtrade Co operatives who support community development and environmental protection programmes.
Food Thoughts Cocoa is from The Dominican Republic , the second poorest country in the Caribbean after Haiti. 42% of its population of 9.6 million live below the poverty line (UNDP 2004) and 16% live in extreme poverty.
The country’s major agricultural exports are sugar, coffee, tobacco, and cocoa. Around 40,000 small-scale cocoa growers produce between 32,000 and 48,000 tonnes of cocoa a year, mainly for export, with a value of $33m to $67m. The income of small-scale cocoa producers is unstable and unpredictable as it is tied to the volatile price of cocoa on the New York and London stock markets.
YACAO COCOA ASSOCIATION
YACAO was founded in 1999 to promote organic cocoa growing and to generate better income for farmers.
In rural areas suffering from depopulation YACAO contributes to a programme to create new jobs – prior to which farmers struggled to sell their cocoa beans at attractive prices.
Today a growing number of cocoa farmers benefit from YACAO’s longer term outlook.
- Purchasing the entire crop of the FUNDOPO 1000+ members and paying bonus prices for Organic and Fair Trade quality
- Pre financing the production and harvest costs
- Financing the Organic certification
- Providing training and advice on agricultural and social topic
- Providing high quality crafted cocoa seedlings at cost price
In 2014 FUNDOPO invested into the following projects
- Renovation of cocoa trees in the farms
- Introduction of new plant material for farmers
- Community projects, building submersible wells and road improvements
- Strengthening of technical and management capabilities of the organisation