This project helps indigenous Asháninka families in the Peruvian Amazon to generate sustainable income through the production of environmentally-friendly crops like cocoa. Our work is based in the Ene River valley, Junin Region, Peru, where we work closely with the Kemito Ene cocoa cooperative.
Through the programme, we are helping the Asháninka people to improve productivity and building Kemito Ene’s capacities to manage the cocoa business efficiently, sustainably and autonomously.
Cocoa production is a vital source of income for indigenous families in the Peruvian Amazon. Asháninka cocoa and coffee producers want training to help them produce cocoa of sufficient quality for chocolate production. Local producers want to take their product to the international market without being exploited by traders. They also want their cocoa to be a sustainable source of income.
By providing training and tools through the Kemito Ene cooperative, we have been supporting the Asháninka people both through improving post-harvest and production techniques and by building the cooperative’s capacity to sell its increasingly high-quality products on the global market.
In September 2019, Kemito Ene was awarded the prestigious biennial UN Development Programme’s Equator Prize in recognition of its "outstanding community effort to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity".
This project has helped Asháninka families to improve their productivity and produce better quality and sustainably-grown cocoa. A recent agreement made between Kemito Ene and organic chocolate maker Loving Earth will mean a stable source of income for Asháninka producers and their families.
Some of our achievements include:
" We’re working to improve the productivity of our cocoa plots and to grow cocoa and coffee in harmony with the forest… I feel proud because I’m supporting the well-being of Kemito Ene members, their families and the Asháninka communities of the Ene river. "
Claudio Vasquez, President, Kemito Ene Cocoa Cooperative
" RFUK has been a key and strategic ally for Kemito Ene, having supported the production of organic cocoa and coffee by Asháninka farmers and promoting the design and planning of the international market access strategy for the Asháninka cacao, something that was beyond the expectation of the Asháninka producers some years ago. "
Pedro Antezana, Manager, Kemito Ene Cocoa Cooperative
" We growers like Kemito Ene because it is buying cocoa and is paying more than local intermediaries. Our local indigenous organisation has taught me to control the plant diseases. I have four children. Three are now in school thanks to the income from our cocoa. (Photo: Salomon's family) "
Salomon Perez, cocoa grower, Pamakiari