Bio Azul, Peru
Bio Azul was launched in early 2003 as a joint effort between Cafetelera Amazonica and 14 coffee farmers in the community of San Juan, Central Peru. They initially met to discuss how to work together to improve farming practices, productivity and coffee quality.
Bio Azul has grown steadily and now includes over 700 active coffee members scattered across two main regions (Cusco and Junín) with a total area of over 3,000 hectares, producing an estimated 26,800 bags of Organic, CAFÉ Practices, UTZ Certified and Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee.
In 2012, Cafetelera Amazonica will launch the Bio Azul Cocoa Division in the regions of Cusco and Junín and will incorporate two additional regions, San Martin and Huánuco, in both coffee and cocoa. As the technical assistance programs for coffee and cocoa develop, more farmers are joining the program in an effort to improve their farming abilities and improve their family income.
In addition to the growth of Bio Azul, Cafetalera Amazonica has begun developing strategic partnerships with organizations who share in the same goal: to serve the small scale cocoa farmers of Peru. Signing their first strategic alliance with Lutheran World Relief in February 2012, the joint effort will include working in Huánuco to certify 500 cocoa farmers in UTZ and Rainforest Alliance certification.
Alliances in Peru continue to grow in an effort to serve the expanding number of small scale farmers working in cocoa. This year, they expect to reach over 1,000 beneficiaries.
Supporting sustainability in cocoa communities
Teodoro Espiritu Lino was born and raised in the Huánuco region of the central jungle of Peru. In 1987, he began to cultivate coca, the plant that is processed to produce cocaine. In 2013, he wanted to start producing a less risky crop. He was finally able to plant cocoa on his six-hectare field by joining the Bioazul – ECOM Peru program.
He is now able to purchase fertilizer and post-harvest modules on credit, and has become a certified producer. He has better-quality cocoa and a better quality of life: “We have established a relationship based on trust with the company, which is indispensable in the business of cocoa.”
ECOM Peru – SMS empowers 400 small scale cocoa farmers to connect with the chocolate industry, based on Good Agricultural Practices, by implementing technological innovations to increase their yield, and by improving the quality of their products by adopting sustainable practices such as composting.
To further serve the farming community, ECOM Peru – SMS constructed a much needed primary school for 200 children in the community of Juan Velasco Alvarado, Peru.