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El Ceibo

Posted By setem On 6 July, 2010 @ 14:28 In Bolivia, Cacao and chocolate, Countries, DESTACADOS, Producer groups | No Comments

ELCEIBO composicion El CeiboDuring a repopulation program sponsored by the Bolivian government in the 1960s and 70s, some farmers, unemployed artisans, and miners settled sparsely populated areas of the tropical forest. Because of the favorable environmental conditions, cocoa cultivation was strongly promoted, and became one of the main sources of income.
Cocoa was sold to middlemen, who took advantage of the uninformed farmers and payed them very low prices. This situation propelled the farmers to unite, and on February 5, 1977, they created the central cooperative El Ceibo. The organization gets its name from a tropical tree considered to be immortal, and their slogan is: “We work with the farmers, we are the farmers!”
Since the beginning, the goal of the cooperative has been not only to change the price of cocoa and introduce farmers to Fair Trade, but also to join efforts towards a more industrial production. This way, farmers were able to learn about agricultural technologies and management and administration of the cooperative, which enabled them to become independent.
Today, El Ceibo is made up of 37 cooperatives of farmers that bring together a total of 800 members. Each cooperative benefits from workshops that range from free technical training to the possibility of a revolving fund for education for their children or the availability of compensation in case they become ill.
The main headquarters of El Ceibo are in Sapecho, where cocoa is stored, and El Alto (very close to La Paz), where there’s a cocoa-processing factory.
70% of cocoa sold by El Ceibo is organically grown. Of the eight hectares dedicated to farming, each group dedicates only a quarter of the land to growing cocoa. The remaining parts of the land are used to grow coffee, lemons, and other crops for their own consumption. This allows them to avoid monoculture, which would harm ecological balance and biodiversity.

ceibo 1 El Ceibo

ceibo El Ceibo

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