Peruvian Cocoa

Peruvian Cocoa

Posted by Theo Chocolate on Mar 22nd 2017

Theo has sourced cacao from the Piura region in Peru since 2010 in partnership with the Norandino Cooperative.

Flavor profile: fruity, sour
Average per year: 30% of Theo supply
Farmers: 700
Family members: 4,200

Theo has worked with the Norandino Cooperative to source cacao from the Piura region of Peru since 2010. We’ve recently expanded our sourcing to the Bagua region as well. In some of the areas where we source, over 50% of people live below the poverty line and 80% of children are undernourished. Due to the food insecurity and lack of economic opportunities, families are often pushed off of their farms and into urban environments where they hope to find work. Theo’s business and additional investments give farm families the choice to have profitable livelihoods and provide for their families without leaving their farms behind.

Norandino was founded by 200 coffee farmers in 1995. Today it has become an economic engine for thousands of smallholder farmers and has diversified beyond coffee into a number of agricultural products including cocoa. Beyond the traditional role of collective processing and collective sales, Norandino invests in social projects such as scholarships for children to attend school and women empowerment projects to support its farmer members.

The Impact of Your Theo Chocolate Bar Purchase

Theo’s business in Peru has led to measurable changes in farmers’ lives and communities:

  • Farmers earn 50% more than they would selling into the commodity market
  • Yields have increased by 30% – meaning farmers have 1,000 more pounds each year to sell
  • Youth are staying in communities in leadership roles
  • Co-ops are creating women-led entrepreneurship programs like making and selling organic fertilizer

Norandino and Theo have have invested in a reforestation program which has led to 2,500 new acres of forest. In addition to reforestation, Theo’s business through Norandino has encouraged some area farmers to transition from growing rice – which is a water intensive and low-value crop – to cocoa which uses less water, provides higher incomes, and is overall better for the environment.

Theo and Norandino also invested resources in four communities to support the construction of centralized processing centers and a quality testing lab. These improvements are enabling the farmers to produce and sell a higher quality product for better prices –leading to lasting income changes. With the additional income, farmers are reinvesting in cacao tree renovation, education, and in improved nutrition for their children.