Helping Cacao Farmers in Peru After the Flooding of Spring ‘17
In late March and into early April 2017 the north and central regions of Peru were rocked by the worst flooding in decades, caused by a seldom seen “coastal” El Niño that warmed the waters immediately off the northern coast of country to unprecedented levels. Torrential rains (ten times average precipitation levels) devastated urban and rural areas, destroying tens of thousands of homes, displacing hundreds of thousands of Peru’s poorest people, and creating a massive shortage of daily necessities (food, water, supplies).
The flooding, mudslides, land/harvest eradication, irrigation system failures, and road closures adversely affected many whom relied on agriculture as their main source of income and livelihood.
A campaign to support cacao farmers (cocoa bean exports are turned into chocolate) in the Tumbes and Piura River regions was set-up to send assistance to those most adversely affected by this disaster. The funds raised are currently being distributed to on-the-ground efforts within the APPROCAP (Asociación De Pequeños Productores De Cacao De Piura) & NORANDINO (Cooperativa Agraria Norandino) cacao cooperatives; both created proposals to determine what would ensure the most sensible and helpful means of restoring basic and larger scale necessities to the smallholder farmers and members of these cooperatives.
This initiative came to fruition through a community of cacao producers & craft chocolate makers and enthusiasts; catalyzed through “Well Tempered” an international community of cacao and chocolate professionals. At the helm of the project are: Lauren Heineck, founder of WKND Chocolate & host of the podcast and community Well Tempered, and Brian Horsley president of Marañón Chocolate and a full time resident of northern Peru. Funds were raised through a GoFundMe campaign that ran for 9 days and tallied a total of over $14,000 USD. With the assistance and collaboration of Brian on the ground at origin, 100% of the donations (sans processing fees) have and will continue to be personally delivered to the aforementioned cooperatives, and in some cases materials directly purchased and delivered by Mr. Horsley, aiding hundreds of individuals.
At this time, a portion of the total collected has gone to construction projects to reconstruct homes lost or damaged by the storms; galvanized metal roofing panels for instance will be needed to rebuild.
In the name of northern Peru’s cacao community, we are humbled by the response to this campaign and the outpouring of support through direct gifting, social media share, and word of mouth, and would like to send a heartfelt ‘gracias’ to our donors below. In a follow-up blog post, we will detail the influence and impact the campaign’s funds had on the communities it was committed to helping.
Thank you to:
Danta Chocolate (Carlos, Kenia, Mariana, Fabiola, Astrid, Ingrid, Reyna, Silvia & Jose Maria)
Igor Van GerwenMary (Chip) Tautkus
Karl Hogarth, Hogarth Chocolate
Luke Owen Smith
Henrik Bodholdt, Maleku Chocolate
Juan Gonzalez, MABCO
Becks Cocoa Drinking Chocolates
Karine Guillemette, Miss Choco
Mackenzie Rivers, Map Chocolate
Dawn Meader McCausland
Rae Stang, Lucky Chocolates
Steven Prickett, El Dora Chocolate
Audrey & Leisa Ling
Lynne & Zeke Haley, Sapphire Chocolates
Alain J.P. Buthion
Carol Morse, Acalli Chocolate
Enna Grazier, Enna Chocolate
Katja Reitemeyer, Marin Munchies
Christine Blais, Palette de Bine
Walter C Miller
Lillie Belle Farms
Elfi Maldonado, Qantu Chocolate
Anelisa Lauria, Chocolate Driven
Sander Wolf, Dallas Chocolate
Jessica Ferraro, Bar Cacao
Hugo Francisco Chavez Ayala, Agrofloresta Mesoamericana
Valerie Beck, Chocolate Uplift
Christopher Curtin, Éclat Chocolate
Tom Rogan, Good Now Farms
Maya Schoop-rutten, Chocolate Maya
Tanja Schwindt, The Chocolate Workshop
Callie Neylan, Bellflower Chocolate
Roger von Rotz, Confiserie
Jesus Pellejero Barrios
Cynthia Leung, Soma Chocolatemaker
Matt Weyandt & Team at Xocolatl Chocolate