Sep 3, 2013, updated September 2013
Cocoa has been produced in Mexico for centuries. However, in 2005 the Monilia disease spread through the country with terrible consequences for local cocoa crops.
Around 50% of the local production was lost as farmers did not have the knowledge or technologies to control this disease.
In 2010, Nestlé México started the Cocoa Plan, which included a component called the Farm School model.
Farm schools are a training scheme for farmers where the classroom is the cocoa plantation and farmers can learn by practicing the different technical aspects of cultivating the crop. The model consists of more than 10 subjects with sessions every 15 days.
Value to Society
So far more than 130 farmers have participated in the Farm Schools in the areas of Tabasco and Chiapas. As a result of their participation farmers have learned how to control the Monilia disease and some of them have even doubled their production.
Value to Nestlé
Local cocoa production has started to increase gradually. Farmers participating in the Farm School model have formed more than 5 cooperatives that they supply directly to Nestlé under the Cocoa Plan.