Colombian Cacao chocolates reaches multinational in Europe


13th of June, 2014, Bogota. The Montebravo producer association, with support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime -UNODC- reached his first exportation of 12 tons of conventional cocoa to the renowned multinational Valrhona in France. With this transaction the work of more than 1220 families was supported, they replaced their illegal crops activities for Alternative Development to the peace products.

The Valrhona entrepreneurs visited in 2013, the 11 associations that make up the Montebravo project in Colombia. Once there, they found out about the commitment of the producers growing in the northern area of the Choco department, near to the Uraba Gulf. The three organizations that exported their products are: ASIPAD, ASOPROANES y APROCAMALOSAN, which gather 276 families.

Algemiro Gallego, executive director of the Montebravo association, said regarding the exportation to Valrhona made on May: ¨ it was a little difficult, because we have to teach a lot to the producers, but certainly export is a possibility to move forward with this company. We must learn, however to demonstrate quality and commitment to our customers in France¨. He also pointed out, "Yes, there is a future: it is clear that we do not know everything, but we will learn it."

UNODC, from the Alternative Development program generated an option with the Forest Warden Families programme, giving a lawful possibility of production known as "Montebravo". The project's main objective is to provide conditions for the rational management of resources in natural forests, with productive and non-consumptive uses and improve food security under agroforestry designs with an immediate impact on the economy and household welfare.

Julieth Osorio Gómez, commercial professional of the Montebravo association, also made reference to the recognized multinational chocolates purchased: "It was an exportation that made our farmers very happy. In Colombia you do not get paid for the certification and when you export a product having it certified, it costs more and that is really important to the families. "

Montebravo, as producer association, links to the project families which have planted about 1735 hectares of cocoa, from indigenous communities (Kuna Indigenous Reservation of Arquía), afro-descendants, peasants and displaced population. During project implementation, 11 organizations of agroforestry producers were formed, in order to decrease the economic dependence on coca leaf production in the area.

"We want to go internationally with producers associations, bringing families and regions together to continue strengthening them as in the case of the Montebravo association", added Julieth Osorio.