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Peru Cocoa Alliance awarded Best Stand at the 2013 Expo Alimentaria Trade Show

Miguel Ríos, a Peru Cocoa Alliance farmer and member of Oro Verde Cooperative from the community of San José de Sisa in San Martín, represents the Alliance at their stand at the 2013 Expo Alimentaria Trade Show.Miguel Ríos, a Peru Cocoa Alliance farmer and member of Oro Verde Cooperative from the community of San José de Sisa in San Martín, represents the Alliance at their stand at the 2013 Expo Alimentaria Trade Show.

In October, the Peru Cocoa Alliance (PCA)—a public–private initiative promoted and formed by CARANA, USAID, DEVIDA, regional governments, other US organizations, producer organizations, and private businesses—participated in the three-day 2013 Expo Alimentaria Trade Show, one of the largest agribusiness trade shows in Latin America. PCA was presented with the Best Stand award in the Agrofood Industry category, the largest category at the Trade Show. The stand set out to clearly convey the PCA’s mission of transforming Peru into the leading producer of fine cocoa while also benefiting thousands of farmers in the regions of Ucayali, San Martín, and Huánuco. The PCA received the award directly from the Minister of Agriculture, Milton Von Hesse, who recognized the efforts of the Alliance during the ceremony and also expressed his desire to work more closely with the Alliance to position Peru strongly in the fine cocoa market.

The event served to connect the farmers of the Alliance with new markets and to position this quality fruit ahead of the thousands of other foreign producers that attended the Trade Show. The Trade Show also brought positive press, new interest from potential buyers, and positive reinforcement from key partners—like USAID and Armajaro—to the Alliance.

Minister of Agriculture (right) Milton Von Hesse presents José Iturrios (left), the Director of the Peru Cocoa Alliance, with the Best Stand award.  Minister of Agriculture (right) Milton Von Hesse presents José Iturrios (left), the Director of the Peru Cocoa Alliance, with the Best Stand award.

The national director of the PCA, José Iturrios, explained that the PCA has succeeded in assisting farmers in the Huánuco, San Martín, and Ucayali regions to substitute growing illicit coca for cocoa. The PCA promoted the establishment of 28,000 new hectares of cocoa in the aforementioned regions, an effort that both directly and indirectly benefitted 10,000 families in these regions and created 18,000 new jobs using an advantageous model that directly connects producers with buyers and ready market opportunities. Iturrios noted that while currently 75% of cocoa sold around the world is cultivated in African countries, these countries are able to produce the quantities but not the quality demanded globally. Peruvian farmers are sowing a high-quality cocoa that is more valuable than other cocoas found in European markets due to the superior quality, flavor, aroma, and purity. 

Published November 2013