Cocoa Plan in Ecuador

Country: Ecuador

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
Sep 18, 2012, updated September 2012


Ecuador is a country that harvested cocoa beans for ages, it is estimated that over 100,000 families are engaged in the cultivation of cocoa trees in the country.
Ecuador exports about 65% of fine cocoa produced in the world.
Its main feature is a unique floral flavor unmatched in the world.

But there is also the “dark side” of this reality, this crop is in the hands of very small farmers, trying to survive with very old and unproductive plantations and for decades have been affected with the loss of almost all of its production by the lack of knowledge to control diseases that attacks the cocoa trees.

Additionally, and to top it off, a value chain where profits are unfairly distributed exist in the country, about 93% of the country's production is commercialized by large intermediaries (middlemen), who have seen in this crop only the opportunity to make a profitable business, completely neglecting the quality needs of pre and post harvest practices and a fair treatment and the most important factor in this supply chain, the farmer.

Programme description

The COCOA PLAN is part of the Creating Shared Value initiative, inside the Rural Development axis. Its goals are to ensure the long term and responsible supply of cocoa beans to the Nestle Group, and at the same time, improve social, environmental, and economic conditions for the cocoa farmers, their families, and communities.
With a win-win philosophy, the plan enhances technical and organizational capacity of the farmers through certification programs, promotes actions that increase quality of life, and rewards responsibility and perseverance for farmers.
As a result, the income of the farmers are improving as they sell directly to us at competitive market prices
The Cocoa Plan promotes the cocoa traceability from the producer to the consumer.

Also the Cocoa Plan encourages the Arriba Fine Cocoa planting, the increasing of the cultivated area and thus maintains the positioning of Ecuadorian cocoa as one of the best cocoa of the world.

Value to Society

  • 1,040 farmers and their families benefited directly and 600 indirectly.
  • 14 cooperation agreements signed with producer associations. 
  • 380 farms, representing 3,118 Has were UTZ certified for social and environmental responsibility.
  • 3,600 tons of harvested cocoa were UTZ certified.
  • Distribution of around 450.000 Arriba Fine Cocoa highly productive plants delivered, since the beginning of the COCOA PAN  (2009 up to now)

Value to Nestlé

In 2012: 30% ot total purchases = 4500 tons, aprox. 11.2 million USD of COCOA PLAN cocoa beans purchased, for local usage and for exports to the Nestle Group, of which aprox. 3.000 tons are UTZ certified cocoa beans

Next Steps

Continue to expand the Cocoa Plan initiative to reach 100% Cocoa Plan purchases  by 2020 = 15.000 tons

Next Steps

UN Millenium Development Goal

  • 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • 2 Achieve universal primary education
  • 3 Promote gender equality and empower women
  • 4 Reduce child mortality
  • 5 Improve maternal health
  • 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • 7 Ensure environmental sustainability
  • 8 Develop global partnerships