Recavaca: a cooperation project for the valorization of cocoa
The RECAVACA project aims at the strengthening of the economical diversification of Haïti and Guadeloupe areas, on the long term the caribbean region, through the transfer of knowledge and the commercialization of innovative product from a fair, local, organic and top of range cocoa.
The project is based on a feasibility study on regional cooperation, previously carried out by the “Ateliers Compétences Internationales”. This study recommends a complementary and joint development of the cocoa sectors of Guadeloupe and Haiti and also a marketing of products according to an approach based on the social and solidarity economy and fair trade.
Currently, the main stakeholders of the project, Haiti and Guadeloupe, are not yet recognized as fine and aromatic cocoa producing countries, despite their potential and a largely exploitable production capacity. These territories are facing some difficulties, particularly in terms of a too weak production volume, difficulties in accessing external markets and organization of the sector. Soil conservation is a major issue in this day and age for all Caribbean territories, especially because the wealth of these lands allows quality production.
It is therefore a question of contributing to this recognition and of producing quality market beans. With a view to developing a new production chain with high added value, and thus meeting the particular needs and challenges of these islands.
Focus on project activities
Project activities should contribute to strengthening the capacities of producers and processors as well as structuring the various links in the chain, from production to marketing of cocoa beans and by-products. This program is organized around the following activities:
- Setting up a training program on cultural and agronomic techniques and in particular the installation of new improved plantations. This training includes an agro-forestry component for the acquisition of agronomic practices that respect biodiversity;
- A study on the genetic characterization of cocoa to identify varieties from the terroirs of Guadeloupe and Haiti. The objective is the vegetative propagation of the most interesting and most sought varieties by chocolate makers;
- Post-harvest process trainingin order to increase the added value of cocoa production. Post-harvest processes involve operations from harvesting to ecocking, including pre-conditioning of beans, fermentation, drying, storage and processing into liquor and couverture;
- Support to set up equipment for the gathering of beans, to ensure their post-harvest treatment and to obtain a quality product;
- Support for setting up processing laboratories, a training on the use of their equipment and on the control of cocoa processing operations into finished products;
- Support the creation of a women’s group in Haiti, for the creation of a income generating activity around the promotion of cocoa in the form of finished products, intended for a niche market;
- The development of a range of finished products based on cocoa. Reflection on the creation of labels and product certifications;
- Support for the marketing of cocoa beans and finished products, based on the principles of fair trade in a niche high-end market.
Organization chart of project tasks
The project is organized into 5 “WorkPackages” grouping activities in accordance with the project.
WP1: Project Management
- Action 1: Internalized project management (leader and partners)
- Action 2: Outsourced project management (monotoring and expenditure escalation)
- Action 3: Annual project evaluation
WP2: Training and technical follow-up
- Action 1: technical training of target audiences in Haiti and Guadeloupe to crop improvement practices
- Action 2: post-harvest training sessions in Haiti (Qualisud) and Guadeloupe (Sarah Bharath, Trinidad)
- Action 3: training for chocolate manufacturing and use of processing plant equipment
- Action 1: study of the genetic diversity of cocoa trees
- Action 2: market and commercialisation studies
- Action 3: study for the establishment of a fair organic certification and a quality label
- Action 4: Legal and economic feasibility study for the creation of a company in charge of cocoa post-harvest processes
- Action 5: Study for the formulation and creation of cocoa products
WP4: Establishment of infrastructures
- Action 1: Equipment and layout of a transformation workshop in Haiti
- Action 2: Establishment of a cocoa nursery in Guadeloupe
- Action 1: communication support (project and product)
- Action 2: event communication (institutional and marketing)
- Action 3: Assessing the impact of communication
- Action 4: creation of a website