Together with Ecuador, Venezuela produces about 70% of the world’s fine cocoa. In fact, all Venezuelan grown cocoa is generally considered as fine cocoa. However, the flavours and aromas vary significantly depending on the variety and the region where it’s grown.
Over 20 years ago, together with the local cocoa industry, Nestlé founded an alliance called Aprocao. Aprocao buys approximately 30 to 40% of all cocoa grown in Venezuela – direct from small-holder farmers. From 2007 to 2012, with the support of Aprocao, Nestlé developed a Farmer Assistance Programme, where participating farmers increased their average harvest per hectare from 250kg to over 600kg. Since 1st January 2013, this program has been implemented by Nestlé Venezuela with the support of an NGO called “Fundación Proyecto Paria”, training 960 farmers per year to implement agricultural best practices.