Agricultural Cooperative Norandino

Community: San Martin region, Peru

Cooperativa Agraria Norandino Ltda (Norandino) is a cooperative active in the processing, commercialization and export of coffee, cocoa and panela. Norandino took over the activities of an earlier cooperative, CEPICAFE, on 1 January 2013.

Norandino operates in several departments across Peru. The organization brings together more than 7,000 families in the northern macro region of Peru, where Tumbes, Amazonas, San Martin regions are included, Cajamarca and Piura.

It assists its members, small-scale agricultural producers, in all stages of the production process. By way of example, for the earlier stages it offers loans in kind, (fertilizer for instance).

For the harvest stage, it offers loans as advances to enable the farmers to carry out harvesting activities. It has a large processing facility in Piura, which it uses to process its members' coffee, but which it also offers to many other organizations for their use.

Very importantly, it assists its members with marketing, helping them with various certification schemes, so that they can access the organic, fair trade, specialty and sustainable international markets.

It also offers training, and has held an 'alternative tourism' project in the small town of Montero as a means of responsible tourism, with producers and other local people acting as guides. This model of tourism supports social projects, such as women's weaving associations, and ecological projects such as reforestation. 

Norandino cooperative representatives.

Norandino cooperative representatives.



Farmer: Mery


Region: Beni

Fat Content: 55%

Harvest Period: Peak Harvest April - September

Clonal Types existing in Bolivia: Dominant Amazonian forastero with pockets of Ecuador forastero and CATIE selected hybrids

This cacao grows in the lowlands of La Paz, Bolivia - a region known as Alto Beni. Nelson and Jorge Valverde, brothers from Bolivia, started the Alto Beni Cacao Company in 2010 to help develop the cacao industry in the region and as a result improve the economic opportunities. The company pays premium prices to farmers and collects, centrally ferments, and dries beans to ensure high quality, consistent cacao. All the beans come from small-scale farmers in rural areas who depend on cacao as a main source of income. The centralized fermentation and drying facility and support from Uncommon Cacao helped critical adjustments to the collection, fermentation and drying process have introduced consistency and improved quality to the bean. 

Mery is a cacao grower in the Beni region of Bolivia and we are proud to be working with her.

Mery is a cacao grower in the Beni region of Bolivia and we are proud to be working with her.



Farmer: EDWIN & Friends

Community: Guatuso, Costa Rica

Status: Highly qualified producer

Edwin  demonstrating his improved cacao varieties

Edwin lives with his family on a small plot of land in Guatuso, the town on the outskirts of Upala. Edwin has many years of agricultural experience. He operates a carefully managed family cacao plantation and implements sustainable agricultural practices.

Edwin is an astute learner and is always seeking out ways to improve his cacao production. He is also a respected community leader and is often found on his neighbors’ plantations helping share cacao producing best practices.

Edwin represents those cacao producers that successfully implement sustainable growing practices as well as proper cropping and nutrition, in accordance with the Nahua Cacao Renovation Program. Tending a well-managed plantation with an appropriate balance of nutrients, Edwin now requires assistance to improve the quality of the varieties of his cacao trees.

As a member of Nahua’s producer network, Edwin will benefit from the company’s greenhouse and access to high-quality cacao varieties. Technical assistants also work with Edwin to ensure he has the tools necessary to manage his own cacao tree nursery.

Edwin remains committed to Nahua’s mission in the region, to reinvigorate cacao production throughout the region by aiding producers in bolstering their productivity and improving the quality of their product.




Farmer: Miguel

Community: El Carmen de Chucuri, Santander, Colombia, in the Colombian  Andes

Our story here (in El Carmen de Chucuri, Santander, Colombia, in the Colombian  Andes) started in 1940's when my grandparents arrived from 2 different towns to this area, where there was just mountains. In 60's there was already many farmers living living here, people that also arrive this land as colonizers as my grand parents. In 70's many farmers, include my parents started to harvest cacao.

I was born in 1982 and grew up in my parents farm (with out electricity and in middle of the war between "paramilitary" and "guerrilla" that finally end 1995) harvesting cacao until my 17 years old. after that I finished the university as chemical engineer in 2007, while in 2005 the goberment did a declaration of a park in  this area, the "Parque Natural Nacional Serrania de los Yariguies", with an area of 60000 hectares, where the main area belong to my town (El Carmen de Chucuri). 

In 2013 I started a project (Bosques de Cacao Yariguies) looking for save our heritage, avoid young farmers move to the cities because the rural areas have not good opportunities and to protect the environment. With this in mind, we started the challenge of find fair trade chocolate makers,, the first years of our project we had been past learning about high quality cacao, that mean, learning about properly fermentation, properly dry, properly cacao pods choice and learning about cacao variaties.  Now we are developing a tourism project around agroturismo, nature and cacao, where we teach the things we had been learned around high quality cacao and fine chocolates while We strengthen the cocoa tradition and show to young people that is possible change the things and help to link other farmers with chocolate lovers too.