Sustainable Specialty Agriculture Symposium News
Introducing Cacao Science To Belize
The Toledo & Stann Creek area of southern Belize has all the natural attributes to produce some of the best cacao in the world.
The Maya have been growing cacao there for thousands of years. Some call Belize the birthplace of Cacao.
Unfortunately, over the recent decades the industry has not been developed and through failed attempts of NGO´s to bring in aid, loans and sporadic training, the supply channel has become broken.
The end user has lost faith in Belize to deliver the cacao they need.
So, the money stopped flowing into the growers and the wheels stopped turning.
We are here to fix that.
One key aspect of Peini Cacao´s operations in Belize is the application of steady and reliable private capital instead of grants, and the introduction of our “Art of Cacao Science”.
There is a lot to be said for running your farms the traditional Maya way. It preserves the culture. But at what cost?
Farms are inefficient and vulnerable to pest and disease which can, and often does, wipe out the crop. This preserves traditional farming practices but leaves no money to eat or to re-invest in the farm.
The knock-on effect of this can clearly be seen in the faces of subsistence farmers today.
Through our team of Agronomists and Biologists we have been implementing our “Art of Cacao Science” and have sustainable capital to implement modern farming practices to remedy the situation.
Key to this is our General Manager of Farming Operations, Andres Lopez.
An engineer by training, Andres has been operating at the top of his field in the Specialty Coffee industry in Boquete, Panama for 25 years now.
Similar to Belize cacao, Panama is not a big producer of coffee. They barely register on the global production scale for volume.
So, they focused on Quality.
There are many similarities between the farming and processing practices of coffee and cacao and Andres and his team are impacting the way we farm in Belize.
Working hand in hand with Na´Lu´um Cacao Institute for the last 2 years, our workers and the 204 Maya farmers in our socially sustainable bean buying program are being trained in sustainable farming practices.
We invite you to come to Belize on May 9th to 12th for our Sustainable Specialty Agriculture Symposium, where Andres will be one of the main speakers.
He will explain some of our plans to introduce modern farming and processing practices into Belize while also helping to maintain the Maya traditions and make Belize fine flavour cacao, the number 1 sought after cacao in the market.