Project Launch

Launch of the Caribbean Network project for the valorization of cocoa

The RECAVACA project is co-funded by the INTERREG Caribbean program under the European Regional Development Fund, it was launched on Tuesday 24 October 2017, at the CIRAD office (NeufChateau, Capesterre-Belle-Eau). ) in the presence of Mrs VAINQUEUR Betty, chair of the AGED, the project’s lead, Mr Gilles BAZAJET, the representative of the management authority of the INTERREG Caribbean program, and representatives of the two project partners: Mr Dominique MARTINEZ, the CIRAD regional director and Jean Mondésir AZOR, the accountant of the project’s Caribbean partner, the Coopérative Agricole Cocoa and Marketing of Grand’anse (CACCOMA).

Four other speakers also participated in the RECAVACA project kick-off: Mrs CONZETT Myriam, ACI director, specialized in the construction of organic and fair sector, Mr CILAS Christian, head of the CIRAD cocoa sector, Mrs. BHARATH Sarah, specialist consultant in cocoa post-harvest process and Mr. BERRY Gérard, SAPCAV president.

The RECAVACA project, an exemplary project

The project was selected by the committee of the INTERREG program in May 2017. In his speech Mr Bajazet underlined the exemplary nature of this project, thanks to the structuring partnerships on which it is based, the theme it touches and the the issues it addresses.

A project serving a strategy

The project’s interest lies in its ambition to support the development of the cocoa sector in two territories of the Caribbean (Haiti and Guadeloupe), by seeking solutions to the issues and challenges common to the region. Through a program of capacity building of the sector stakeholders, both for cultivation techniques and for cocoa processing.

Important issues to raise

The project aims to achieve an international recognition of cocoa from Guadeloupe and Haiti, as territories producing a fine and aromatic cocoa, carrying a type of sector, with high added value.

To achieve this goal, it is necessary to improve the cocoa production. The first step, as emphasized by Christian CILAS, is to carry out a work around the genetic characterization of cocoa trees, in order to have a good knowledge of the plant material and to promote a productive and quality material.

Then, it is necessary to adopt good techniques in cocoa processing with a constant search for quality, which can be defined through the organoleptic and sensory characterization of processed products. This is the purpose of Sarah BHARATH’s training, which reminds that it is impossible to get a good chocolate without a good post-harvest treatment of cocoa.

For Myriam CONZETT, the search for quality and added value also goes hand in hand with a desire to take into account societal values, to which the project gives full weight, because of its orientation towards a specific approach. It takes into account the issues of planters’ empowerment, the requirement to promote women’s work through the establishment of small production and processing units and the adoption of environmentally-friendly agro-ecological production.

Cocoa and coffee: joint action to address similar issues

The launch meeting closed with Mr. Gerard BERRY, who through his intervention highlighted the convergence of the challenges of both coffee and cocoa crops in the search for a positioning in a niche and high-end market which aims at an international recognition of these two products.

With this aim in mind, it is necessary to set up a similar approach to characterize Guadeloupe’s coffee, through the analysis of genetic material, organoleptic and sensory qualities, the implementation of a sales strategy and a reflection on the signs of recognition of quality.