Cacao beans are tested for quality in Guatemala as part of Lutheran World Relief’s MOCCA project activities.

Latin America Baseline Cocoa Barometer: Advancing research and innovation in the cocoa sector

Lutheran World Relief leads cocoa programming for the six-country USDA-funded Maximizing Opportunities in Coffee and Cacao in the Americas (MOCCA) project, helping farmers to overcome barriers to effectively rehabilitate and renovate cocoa plants while increasing their productivity and income.

Our cocoa work through MOCCA provided key data and reporting for the upcoming Cocoa Barometer, a biennial publication that provides an overview of the state of sustainability of the cocoa sector. The Cocoa Barometer is published by a consortium of global civil society actors hosted by the VOICE network.

In advance of the Cocoa Barometer 2022’s release, the consortium has also released a series of consultation papers including a Latin America Baseline Cocoa Barometer which outlines the major challenges and opportunities of cocoa in Latin America – available in English and Spanish.  

From cocoa market systems assessments and clonal garden baselines to Cacao Movil platform data and Cocoa Flavor Map information, MOCCA was able to provide significant support to the Latin America Baseline Cocoa Barometer.

Antonie Fountain, Acting Director of the VOICE Network, noted the importance of this first Latin America-focused cocoa paper:

“When we released the previous Cocoa Barometer, two years ago, I was approached by the head of Anecacao (the Ecuadorian cocoa association) with the question of why we always focused on West African cocoa. His question is a valid one. Latin America is the second largest cocoa-growing region in the world, and Ecuador has overtaken all but Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in cocoa production volumes.

So, together with a range of Latin American civil society organizations and programs such as the MOCCA project, with cocoa sector work led by Lutheran World Relief, we are happy to release the first Latin America Baseline Cocoa Barometer. This document outlines the major structures and challenges of cocoa in Latin America as a whole, and dives deeper into the specifics of the major producing, processing, and consuming nations there.”

The Latin American Cacao Barometer was presented in a virtual regional forum entitled “Cacao con Ciencia” on September 23rd which included key cocoa actors across Latin America. Our hope is that the report’s findings will continue to spur innovation, improve livelihoods and advance sustainability across the cocoa sector.

Image showing Latin America Cocoa Barometer presentation information