Between 2003 and 2019, the national cocoa harvest fell from 50 thousand tons to 28 thousand 452 (43 percent), which represents less than one percent of world production, said Carlos Sandoval Miranda, a specialist in rural valuation and agronomist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
Given this, small and medium producers from 24 communities in Tabasco and Chiapas, organized through the Society for Rural Production Producers and Transformers of Cacao Zoque, established the La Chiapasteña brand, reported in a statement.
In an area of 167 hectares, the cultivation of white almond cocoa was established, a variety that just 10 years ago was in danger of extinction, said, Sandoval. The project began in January 2012, in Tacotalpa.
He recalled that in Pichucalco, a municipality that enjoyed being one of the most important territories in cocoa and cattle 70 years ago, it was listed as one of the best cocoas in Mexico, but the lack of integration of true value chains in the last 50 years, caused the productive tradition to be lost and with this more than 14 thousand established hectares of cocoa were transformed into pastures where today only extensive cattle farming is worked, with low yields.
The challenge was to reverse the economic situation of the producers, change their background and make them feel that it was in their hands to be a successful producer. The result took a decade to arrive, today the cocoa beans from these two regions are in markets of other countries that recognize their quality, he said.
In addition to cocoa, cinnamon, pepper, and vanilla are produced; also certified in organic production for 2 years in a row, he explained.
In 2018, work began on the transformation of fine aroma white almond cocoa, with which an added value to primary production of more than 2 times the income as raw material was achieved; New and better sources of employment were opened for people, he added.
Once in full operation, the firm intends to consolidate more than 300 jobs in the field and at least 30 in the industry, in addition to the indirect sources of work that will be generated from associated suppliers.