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Location Pointer JUANJUI, PERU
where our cacao comes from
co-ops

ACOPAGRO COOPERATIVE

Nestled along the river Huayabamba at the edge of the Peruvian Amazon, the farmers of Acopagro Co-op survey a landscape that’s entirely different than it was 15 years ago. In 1994, a United Nations program made it possible for these farmers to begin replacing their illegal coca crops (used to make cocaine) with cocoa, releasing them from an oppressive, volatile and often dangerous relationship with drug traffickers. Now the farmers not only grow some of the best cacao in the world, they also help to regenerate their ecosystem. Along with our partners at PUR Projet, we work with Acopagro to plant trees within the cacao fields of the farmers. So far, PUR Projet has planted over two million trees with Acopagro and has successfully designated a 6,000,000 acre conservation site as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

acopagro farmer

GILBERTO RODRIGUEZ ORTIZ

cacao farmer

Name: Gilberto Rodriguez Ortiz

Main Product: Cacao

Member since: 1997

Gilberto has been a member of Acopagro since it was founded in 1997. He was one of the early adopting farmers to advocate and lead the transition from coca to cacao in the region. He is now a Director, supporting the cooperative and its 2,000 members in various internal and external processes. He is a Committee Chairman of the Ledoy village along the Río Huallaga.

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I believe my children will become cacao farmers, because the crop has experienced a systematic change. Our society was destroyed during the coca period, but now it's a well-ordered society and our children are following our example. – Gilberto

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Gilberto has nine hectares of land, which is about 22 acres. Four of his hectares are planted with cacao trees and two are planted with various other fruits and vegetables: citrus, corn, cassava, beans, coconut and tomatoes. The remaining three hectares were planted 18 years ago with high value timber trees, which will be sustainably harvested when the trees mature. This parcel is part of a sustainable timber management project supported by PUR Projet.