Cacao Oro’s La Rosita farm has several neighboring indigenous communities that own large tracts of fallow land ideal for agriculture. These land volumes are in excess of 50,000 hectares. Based on planning discussions and small test projects with one indigenous community, we anticipate engaging with these communities to develop their own community farms for growing cacao, coffee, and hardwood trees.
With our nursery at full production, we can provide technical training, resources, farm inputs, and guidance for future sustainable certification. This agroforestry/reforestation model will generate living wages and the desired social benefits for these communities. Benefits can include: improved health care; schools; housing; and improved energy availability. Cacao Oro can provide the necessary access to global markets for their future sales of cacao and coffee. We believe it our responsibility that these elements be incorporated in our initiative called “Cacao Oro Outgrowers Ltd,” or COOL
COOL is the effort from Cacao Oro de Nicaragua’s La Rosita plantation to initiate a program to provide farm development support to the neighboring area’s small farmers and their respective communities. From our La Rosita farm we are forming a new company called Cacao Oro Outgrowers Ltd. (COOL), to work in collaboration with various local, regional and international organizations to deliver the skills and materials necessary to give local farmers and their families the opportunity for economic improvement and social growth.
We decided to start this program because we feel we have a responsibility to go beyond our strict business activities. We believe in the potential of the country, on the possibility of modernizing local production techniques, and make a positive social impact on local farmers and their communities. In developing Cacao Oro’s cocoa plantations, we feel it is our duty not only to rehabilitate already degraded land through active reforestation efforts under a sustainable agroforestry model, but also to act as a last line of defense on the agricultural frontier to protect Nicaragua’s remaining rainforest reserves.
We want to be the key driver in helping local smallholder farmers develop productive and diversified farming operations in their own communities while protection the underlying ecosystems. We see ourselves creating shared value. This vision includes supporting a variety of permanent crops: cacao, coffee, fruit shade trees such as plantains, and indigenous hardwood species such as Cedro Macho, Caobo and Nanciton, in an agroforestry strategy that encourages broader climate and environmental benefits. We will teach the skills to be successful, and the corresponding discipline of “sustainable” agriculture. COOL will also provide access to a fair and transparent market for the locally grown crops to maximize the value received by the individual farmers and their families.