The President of the World Bank Visited Compañía Nacional de Chocolates’ Productive Partnership with Cocoa Growers in Perijá

21 January, 2016

Last Thursday January 14th, Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank; Aurelio Iragorri Valencia, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; and Mauricio Cárdenas Santamaría, Finance Minister, visited the municipality of La Paz and its township San José de Oriente, in the north of the Department of Cesar, to see firsthand the progress of the Productive Partnership that Compañía Nacional de Chocolates (CNCH) – a Grupo Nutresa subsidiary – maintains with the Association of Rural Producers of the Serranía de Perijá (Productores Campesinos de la Serranía de Perijá, ASPROCASPE), dedicated to the cultivation of cocoa.

The partnership, which works with 44 small farmers in La Paz, seeks to plant and renew 88 hectares of cocoa, improve grain quality through better processing, increase the income of the cocoa growers and allow them to participate in the market efficiently, profitably and competitively together with a business partner such as Compañía Nacional de Chocolates.

This productive partnership brings together all players in the chain, beginning with farmers, financers, municipalities or departmental governments, operators and trainers, and the business partner. In this particular case, as a trading partner Nacional de Chocolates not only guarantees farmers the purchase of the cocoa, but also provides them with the necessary technical and administrative advice.

The visit also sought to renew the economic funds that the Ministry of Agriculture received from the World Bank for this program, which ended last December. Both ministers agreed that “this project accompanied by Compañía Nacional de Chocolates exemplifies peace being possible when we all work together for a common goal”.

All visitors also learned firsthand Grupo Nutresa’s sustainability philosophy and how one of its companies, Compañía Nacional de Chocolates, participates in this type of projects to benefit farmers and improve their quality of life. Juan Fernando Valenzuela A., Director of Procurement and Enterprise Development, stated: “Today, Compañía Nacional de Chocolates participates in 110 projects in the country, benefiting 12,200 families in 119 municipalities – in 22 Departments – where they have already planted 21,294 hectares of cocoa.”

The Productive Partnership Program, created in the country 12 years ago, today serves as a model for other countries in Asia and Africa. In fact, Colombia is one of 20 countries where the World Bank promotes this type of project.

The event was also attended by, among others, Fabrizio Hochschild, the United Nations Humanitarian President in Colombia; Franco Ovalle Angarita, Governor of the Department of Cesar; Giovanni Pérez Castilla, President of ASPROCASPE; and local authorities, as well as Alexander Jaimes Rangel, agroforestry engineer, who has been essential for the success of these projects through his work in the region.

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