Strengthening the quality cocoa value chain in Olancho

Strengthening the quality cocoa value chain in Olancho

This project has a comprehensive vision since a high value market is guaranteed through Chocolats Halba.

The project aims to increase farm productivity by 20%.

This project aims to promote profitable and diversified production in the Honduran department of Olancho, and in particular among associations and communities of small farmers. In addition to generating jobs, cocoa will reforest Olancho, a department that, according to the ICF (the Forest Conservation Institute), has already lost 39% of its forested area. The project aims to increase farm productivity by 20%, based on a high unsatisfied demand by Chocolats Halba, thus guaranteeing a high value market for cocoa. Through a consortium formed by Fundación Helvetas Honduras, Rikolto and Chocolats Halba, and the economic contribution of the European Union, the project has an investment of 5.4 million dollars to be implemented during 2017-2021.

What is the goal?

The project aims at

  • Achieving an increase of 425 manzanas (296 hectares) of cocoa produced in Agro-Forestry Systems;

  • a 20% increase in yield (which now is around an average of four quintals (256 kg) per manzana),

  • generating direct jobs in the area that guarantee subsistence for dozens of farming families.

Inclusive Business

Small big farmers

This project has a comprehensive vision since a high value market is guaranteed through Chocolats Halba because of their high demand. On the other hand, both Fundación Helvetas Honduras and Rikolto have decades of experience in the competitive improvement of small farmers’ organisations.

The initiative contributes to generating an income for about 500 families, in addition to significant environmental and social benefits, while also helping to consolidate the department of Olancho as a quality cocoa producing area, under organic and Fairtrade certifications. Thus, the results that will be generated by this project will go beyond the measurements of the metric tonnes of cocoa that will be produced, and will help position cocoa as a model that provides solutions for thousands of Honduran families on the economic, social and environmental front.

As project coordinator, Fundación Helvetas Honduras is responsible for the results related to productivity, quality, area expansion, consolidation of an inclusive model and issues that arise at the municipal and national level. Rikolto leads the business management aspect of the project, and Chocolats Halba provides technical assistance for quality improvement and will improve links with quality markets that require certifications.

Impact of the project

  • 500 small-scale farmers, among them 125 women, will have access to safe markets at preferential prices by selling their cocoa to Chocolats Halba.

  • APROSACAO member farmers will see their capacities strengthened through field schools facilitated by leading farmers in their own communities.

  • The organisational structures of APROSACAO will be strengthened through leadership training.

This project contributes to generating an income for about 500 cocoa-farming families in the department of Olancho, in addition to generating important environmental and social benefits.

  • This initiative tends to contribute to the planting of 425 manzanas (296 hectares) of agroforestry systems with organic cocoa using adequate management and climate-smart production practices (i.e., micro irrigation)

  • Increase organic cocoa production by 20% in the existing APROSACAO plots.

  • Increase the quality of the cocoa processed by APROSACAO so that it reaches 90% of "A" quality.

  • Strengthen the business management of APROSACAO, through establishing an inclusive organisational development model with democratic principles, youth, gender and social equity.

Inclusive Business Model

Farmer cooperative APROSACAO and Chocolats Halba have developed an Inclusive Business Model that has been supported by the Consortium. The results are promising: farmers receive an additional premium on the international price for selling certified organic cocoa; APROSACAO has a 25% profit margin; Chocolats Halba gives advances to purchase the cocoa grain; and there are women participating in the Board of Directors, in production and in processing.



APROSACAO is a cooperative focused in organic cocoa production through agroforestry systems and it is located in the department of Olacho in Honduras.

Helvetas - Honduras

FHH, together with other actors, is part of the national programme of the cocoa chain - PROCACAO. The purpose of the program is: "To contribute to improving the living conditions of cocoa-farming families, supporting them to produce better quality cocoa under the sustainable production system and its insertion into short and transparent value chains."

Helvetas - Honduras

Helvetas is an independent development organisation, based in Switzerland and with affiliated organisations in Germany and the United States. Helvetas supports poor and disadvantaged women, men and communities in around 30 developing and transition countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. In Honduras the organisation supports small farmer associations to increase their productivity and, at the same time, ensure sustainability. Helvetas promotes the professional training of young people to improve their employment prospects and promotes dialogue for efficient and quality management of natural resources.

Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation

Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation

Helvetas is an independent development organisation based in Switzerland and with affiliated organisations in Germany and the United States. Helvetas supports poor and disadvantaged women, men and communities and transition countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Chocolats Halba

A young and innovative company, dedicated to the purchase of high quality cocoa directly from farmers to export to international markets. The parent company, Chocolats Halba Switzerland (CH / COOP), a leader in the production of high-quality chocolate, arrived in Honduras in 2008 with the aim of understanding the situation of the cocoa sector, analysing the opportunities of doing business with the cocoa farmers and contributing to the development of the sector in this country.

Chocolats Halba

Chocolats Halba is a Swiss high quality fine chocolates producer. Its vision is that customers, consumers, cocoa farmers, environment and climate as well as Chocolats Halba should profit from its added value.

European Union

The EU allocates about 235 million euros to Honduras. Details of the projects in which the EU and Honduras collaborate are set out in the 2014-2020 Pluriannual Indicative Program, based on the 2010-22 National Plan of the Honduran government. The main sectors where the EU collaborates with Honduras are: Food security: End extreme poverty. Employment: Help Honduras to generate decent work opportunities. Rule of Law: To achieve a democratic and safe country, without violence, with a transparent, effective and inclusive state. Human rights, especially economic, social and cultural rights and gender equality, as well as the environment and natural disaster risk reduction, are integrated within all sectors.

Lourdes Zamora
Lourdes Zamora
Coordinadora del Programa Cacao y Café Sostenibles | Honduras