Hershey’s invest in cocoa production in Chiapas
CHIAPAS – Hershey’s is increasing its commitment to cocoa in Chiapas, the company recently announced that it will invest US$309,687 in the recovery of cocoa plantations in the state.
This is a second phase of the Ruta del cacao project, resources that will be added to the US$1 million it has invested in the generation of more pest-resistant plants that it has been providing to farmers in the state for the past 10 years.
Mariana Carranza, Marketing Director of Hershey’s Mexico, explained that this investment will serve to integrate 144 producers into the project, who will be able to restore 72 hectares of cocoa crops, which means that the company will deliver 86,000 plants that are more productive and resistant to some pests.
There are two main cocoa producing states in the country, Tabasco, which contributes 67%, and Chiapas with 33%, generating 28,400 tons of cocoa per year. Worldwide, Mexico ranks 13th in cocoa production and the Chiapas bean is in the Top 50 of the best cocoa in the world, according to the Communication Council.
In view of the above, together with ECOM Cocoa and Fundación Cacao, Hersey México announced the next phase of the Hershey’s Cocoa Project, through which, in 10 years, it has allocated 38 million pesos with the objective of recovering the cocoa crop in the state of Chiapas. In this new stage, the investment amounts to 6 million pesos, for three years, totaling 44 million pesos.
Carranza explained that, in addition to the delivery of cocoa plants, the technical support provided to farmers will have a sustainable approach to promote more sustainable techniques and crop diversification.
“The results are for the farmers. They have increased their productivity from 200 kg per hectare to between 800 and 1,200 kg per hectare, which means an increase of 400%.”Carranza said.
The director added that in this new level of the project, partnerships are maintained with ECOM Cacao, the company in charge of researching the cocoa plants and delivering them to the producers, and the Cacao Foundation, which is in charge of coordinating the resources.
“We found more fungus-resistant varieties that were used in Costa Rica, brought them to Mexico and did a research process to determine if they were able to adapt to the Mexican soil and see if they remained resistant,” she said.