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    Dominicana On Line - El Portal de la República Dominicana

    Productives Sectors: Cocoa

    Production of Cocoa

    The production of organic cocoa in the Dominican Republic

    .. it has 401,553 planted acres, which represent 16.5% of the 2,436.185 cultivated acres. These are distributed in 40,000 large, medium and small farms, which are concentrated in five producing areas.

    The Dominican Republic ranks first in the global ranking in cocoa production and export. In 2009 it exported over 62,000 tons of cocoa mainly to the United States and Europe. 

    In the Dominican Republic, cocoa is one of the four traditional export crops. Its economic importance is determined by some factors such as, among others, its role in the generation of hundreds of jobs, its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the protection of the environment, and to the country’s international renown.
     
    According to statistics from the Dominican Ministry of Agriculture, in 2009 the country exported 62,385 metric tons of cocoa, which generated US$162.3 million in foreign currencies. Close to 15,000 tons of these exports meet international standards for organic agriculture, and they mostly targetted the European and US markets. 

    Duarte province is where the greatest amount of organic cocoa is produced in the world. In this province, as well as in the Northeast, there are thousands of acres dedicated to the cultivation of organic cocoa, which makes this area the "world’s cocoa capital".

    In its 2007 report on the Dominican cocoa economic profile, the Dominican Center for Export and Investment (CEI-RD), recorded that the Dominican Republic dominates 60% of the global market share of organic cocoa, and that it has 401,553 planted acres, which represent 16.5% of the 2,436.185 cultivated acres. These are distributed in 40,000 large, medium and small farms, which are concentrated in five producing areas.

    In 2006, the Dominican Republic exported 8,000 metric tons of organic cocoa, which generated US$60 million in profits; two years later 34,700 metric tons of cocoa were exported, of which 55% were of the organic type; the value of exports that year was US$170 million. 

    The country has around 805,000 acres devoted to organic crops. 

    Currently, the Dominican Institute of Agriculture and Forestry Research (IDIAF), the National Council of Agricultural and Forestry Research (CONIAF) and the Roig Agro Cacao company are working on the project ‘Quality Description of the Castillo Area Cocoa’ (“Caracterización de Calidad del Cacao de la Zona de Castillo”), with a total investment of RD $2.7 million. 

    The country developed the organic cocoa farming in the 1980's. Planting is done in entirely agro-ecological land, without the use of herbicides or chemical fertilizers. Additionally, semi-processed products are also obtained, such as organic cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa powder and chocolate.

    After the Dominican Republic, the countries that export more organic cocoa (in tons) are Mexico with 2,500; Peru with 1,850; Madagascar and Tanzania with 1,500; Vanuatu with 500 is in sixth place; Bolivia with 400 is in seventh place; Panama is in eighth place with 350, followed by Costa Rica with 300; and Sri Lanka is in tenth place with 200 tons.

    Classification 

    The Dominican Republic has been included in the select group of 15 countries recognized worldwide as gourmet cocoa producers. 

    For marketing purposes, Dominican organic cocoa is classified into two types: the Hispaniola (fermented) and Sanchez (unfermented). 

    The Sanchez type is produced under natural conditions, from the moment it is harvested until it is dried, and makes up to 70% of the annual Dominican cocoa export. Because of its high butter content and its low price it is the preferred type in the US market. 

    After it is harvested, the Hispaniola cocoa undergoes a fermentation process. Because of its high demand it is favored in the European market. 

    For export purposes, the organic cocoa is certified by various organizations responsible for verifying and granting a seal guaranteeing its organic status and its quality level. 

    The largest markets have their own certifications. For example, BCSÖKO-Garantie (Germany), Bio Suisse (Switzerland), Demeter (Germany), IMO-Control (Germany-Switzerland), Japanese Agricultural Standard-JAS (Japan) and National Organic Program-NOP (United States). 

    The Dominican Republic has been included in the select group of 15 countries recognized worldwide as gourmet cocoa producers. 

    The main associations and companies engaged in the production and marketing of organic cocoa in the country are: National Confederation of Dominican Cocoa Farmers (Conacado), with 49.8% of the production; Nazario Rizek, with 15.8%; and Comercial Roig with 13.2%.

    Other companies such as Munné and Company; J. Paiewonsky and Sons; the Cortes Brother; Garcia and Mejia; Yacao, and the Association of Cocoa Producers of Cibao (Aprocaci), also have significant market shares.

    For more information visit: www.icco.org/  and www.rutadelcacao.org/

    Cocoa Tourist Trail

    Delights of the “Cocoa Tourist Trail in the Dominican Republic"

    The second stop, which takes place in a fermentation center in the Vicentillo community located 16 miles from Hato Mayor, offers another major attraction of the itinerary. 

    The tour includes a stop in El Rancho, Vicentillo and Yabon communities located in the Hato Mayor province, in the Eastern region of the country.

    The "Cocoa Tourist Trail” is a tour of organic cocoa plantations in the Eastern region of the Dominican Republic.  The processes of production, i.e., planting, cutting, fermenting, and further steps for the preparation of wines, jams, chocolate and other products derived from this crop are explained throughout the tour. 

    The trail 

    The itinerary includes three stops. The first is an organic cocoa farm in the community of El Rancho, located eight miles from Hato Mayor. There, tour guides and producers lead visitors through the plantation and explain the history of cocoa and its various stages of production. 

    Technicians and experts in cocoa production talk about the livelihoods of families living in the countryside. 

     Also, visitors enjoy the beauty of the place and have the opportunity to taste fresh cocoa, chocolate and bread that is made in that area. 

    The second stop, which takes place in a fermentation center in the Vicentillo community located 16 miles from Hato Mayor, offers another major attraction of the itinerary. 

    Here the traditional cacao dryers may be seen and an explanation is provided on how the product is transported to other areas of the country and on the fermentation process, which largely gives off the cocoa its aroma. 

    The third and final stop is a small agribusiness producing chocolate, wine, jam and other cocoa products, and which is located in the community of Yabon, 18 miles from Hato Mayor. The small farmingS enterprise is managed by the “Esperanzas Unidas” Women Association. In this place, located on a hill, visitors can observe the chocolate and wine production processes. 

    The itinerary of the so-called "Chocolate Trail" lasts some two and a half hours. It is a unique experience for visitors because, apart from learning about the cocoa production processes, they also enjoy the Dominican flora and fauna as the tour includes a visit to the Garza Sanctuary, which is located 6 miles from Hato Mayor in the community of El Cercado. 

    The cost of the trail’s round trip is approximately US$25, 20 Euros or RD$900 Dominican pesos. 

    Latin American and Caribbean trail 

    The cocoa tourist trail started in 2008, with an investment of approximately RD$3 million through the Associations of Cocoa Producers of the Eastern Region. The project, initially called the "Chocolate Tour" was created for school and university students and for nature and farming lovers in general. It aims at encouraging Dominicans and foreigners to visit the area. 

    Currently the project has an international scope in the region. Cocoa producers and cultural managers are involved in the regional project "The Cacao Trail in Latin America and the Caribbean: Cultural Diversity for an Endogenous Development." 

    The project objectives include identifying, promoting and disseminating the cultural cocoa trails in Latin America and the Caribbean, and promoting knowledge and appreciation of cultural diversity associated with its harvesting, cultivation, production and consumption. 

    The plan aims to achieve an integral development in the region’s cocoa areas in relation to the protection and management of its cultural heritage, in order to improve the living conditions of people whose livelihoods depend from this crop. 

    It also seeks to locate and compile documentary and bibliographic sources; to make an inventory and to catalog the historical heritage of the cacao plantations, and to create a database of terminology of common and ordinary usage, as part of the regional network of the Cocoa Trails. 

    One of the great advantages of the project is that it helps promote interdisciplinary projects linked to the cocoa trail and their impact and implications on their historical, cultural, economic and social aspects, as well as to stimulate interest and solidarity around common heritage shared by different peoples and nations of the American hemisphere. 

    For more information visit: http://www.rutadelcacao.org/

    Studies and Agreements

    Convenio Internacional de Cacao, 2010 Convenio Internacional de Cacao, 2010
    Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Cacao, 2010
    Ginebra, 21 a 25 de junio de 2010
    Download document>
    Convenio Internacional de Cacao, 2010 Perfil Económico del Cacao Dominicano 2007
    Departamento de Inteligencia de Mercados
    Centro de Exportación e Inversión de la República Dominicana
    Download document>
    Convenio Internacional de Cacao, 2010 ICCO - Estudio del Mercado de Cacao Ecológico 2006
    Organización Internacional del Cacao
    Comité Ejecutivo
    Londres, 12-15 septiembre 2006
    Download document>
    Convenio Internacional de Cacao, 2010 Informe anual ICCO 2005-2006
    Organización Internacional del Cacao (ICCO)
    Londres, Reino Unido
    Download document>











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