An Analysis of the Productive Chain of Cacao in Colombia

Subgroup: Cacao
Executive Summary/Description
Various market options for cacao producers in Colombia were evaluated using surveys and personal interviews. Hundreds of cacao purchasing entities, including both traditional traders and new enterprises who are pursuing niche, specialty markets (e.g. Cocoa Hunters and Red de Cacaoteros in Colombia and Republica de Cacao and Pacari in Ecuador), cacao producers, agriculturalists, international specialists and Colombian administrators were interviewed. Our findings led us to conclude that whereas Colombian producers have strong domestic and international markets for cacao, a focus on the limited specialty market for cacao, and especially the attempt to differentiate into a “fine flavor market”, faces significant limitations for reducing poverty or impacting large numbers of cacao producers in Colombia.

LGU Team Participants

Purdue University
Philip C. Abbott, Professor (retired), Department of Agricultural Economics
Tamara J. Benjamin, Asst. Program Leader, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Gary R. Burniske, Managing Director, Center for Global Food Security
Marcia M. Croft, Graduate Student, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Marieke C. Fenton, Graduate Student, Department of Agricultural Economics
Colleen R. Kelly, Graduate Student, Departamento Youth Development and Agricultural Education
Michael D. Wilcox Jr, Senior Associate, Center for Regional Development and Extension

Colombian Partners

Mark M. Lundy, Lead Investigator, Linking Farmers with Markets
Fernando Rodríguez-Camayo, V Investigator, Linking Farmers with Markets


Weaknesses in the cacao production chain were identified. These include desirable improvements in marketing, extension, infrastructure and enhancements in pest and di
sease management, horticulture, post-harvest management and marketing. Preliminary final report available here.

Project Funding

USAID funding to the USDA

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