Growing sustainable fine cocoa

Location: Ecuador

Impact Area

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

Growing sustainable fine cocoa
GROWING FINE COCOA:Ecuador produces an estimated 65% of the world's fine cocoa.

Ecuador has harvested cocoa beans for many years, with an estimated 100,000 families engaged in the cultivation of cocoa trees in the country.

Ecuador exports about 65% of the fine cocoa produced in the world whose 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, which 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.

The conditions are exacerbated by a value chain where profits are unfairly distributed: about 93% of the country's production is commercialized by large intermediaries who tend to neglect the needs of the farmer.

Programme description

The Cocoa Plan is part of the Creating Shared Value initiative, under our focus area of Rural Development. 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 improved as they sell directly to Nestlé 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 finest cocoa in the world.

Value to Society

Our work with cocoa farmers in Ecuador have resulted in the following:

  • 1,040 farmers and their families benefited directly and 600 indirectly
  • 14 cooperation agreements signed with producer associations
  • 380 farms, representing 3,118 hectares were UTZ certified for social and environmental responsibility
  • 3,600 tons of harvested cocoa were UTZ certified
  • Distribution of around 45,000 Arriba Fine Cocoa highly productive plants delivered, since the beginning of the Cocoa Plan (2009 up to now)

Value to Nestlé

Next Steps

We will continue to expand the Cocoa Plan initiative to source 120,000 by 2016. Read more about our commitment to Roll out the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.