Conclusion of Luker’s five-year project

The conclusion of Luker Chocolate’s longest running ‘The Chocolate Dream’ project, The Cacao Effect, has reached over 6000 rural families in Colombia, the company recently reported.

The five-year project focused on increasing farmer income through productivity, strengthening farmer associations and improving education and resilience in rural communities that have been affected by violence.

The closing event was held on 24 November 2023 in Bogotá, Colombia, and sought to showcase both the impact of the project and provide an opportunity for attendees to connect with the project’s participants.

The Cacao Effect Project came into fruition as part of Luker’s ‘The Chocolate Dream’ – a branch of its sustainability strategy. The agreement was signed on 30 November 2018 for a period of five years. The Alliance consists of Luker Chocolate; USAID Colombia; Luker Foundation; Enel Colombia; Saldarriaga Concha Foundation; EAFIT University and IDH (the Sustainable Trade Initiative).

The shared mission of the project was to strengthen cocoa production and enhance the livelihoods of producers and their communities in four main regions: Urabá, Bajo Cauca, Huila, and Tumaco, areas affected by conflict, illicit crops and violence.

“The Cacao Effect set the foundation of our anchor model approach, that we currently use to implement The Chocolate Dream. By partnering with diverse allies, we are able to have a more significant impact in the communities and their ecosystem,” said Julia Ocampo, VP of Cacao Sourcing and Sustainability, Luker. “As we grow The Chocolate Dream, we will continue working with cocoa-growing communities, with a special focus on generational inclusion so that young people have better opportunities to integrate into the sector and see a prosperous future in cacao.”

Cacao growing has emerged as a conduit for economic empowerment for communities, following a US$36.5 million investment – $7.5 million of which came from international cooperation, primarily USAID.

“Although this project reaches its conclusion, we want to emphasize that the work does not end here,” added Jeremiah Carew, Mission Director in Charge of USAID Colombia, “on the contrary, with the alliances we have strengthened and improved capacity, cocoa farmers have a path forward to continue generating greater income.”

The project focused on five key areas: productivity, entrepreneurship, farming associations, education and resilience.

Luker Chocolate stressed that The Cocoa Effect has facilitated the realisation of cocoa driving peace and prosperity.

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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