Ucayali River Cacao is located near Pucallpa, Ucayali, Peru. Until recently this area has not been known for fine cacao, but due to the efforts of USAID and Alianza Cacao of Peru there are farmers that are abandoning coca production for Cacao, Coffee and Oil Palm. URC is working together with USAID and Alianza Cacao of Peru to purchase raw material from these farmers at a price that is above market. Our goal is to produce a high quality fine cacao while helping these farmers earn a legitimate income rather than returning to coca production.
We are working with close to 400 small farmers. Many of them are located within a 30 minute drive from our processing facility. We believe that one of our main roles with our farmers is for us to handle the time consuming duty of fermentation and drying of their cacao. Considering the extra money that the farmer would make doing the post harvest work compared to if they spend that time taking better care of their crop and improving production, their best return is when they can improve their yield. When the farmer does his own ferment they must stop all work in their fields every time that it rains, which is often, to cover their drying cacao. As well they must stop work in their fields to turn the cacao daily. In addition they must find a buyer and deliver their dried cacao to a buyer that likely will cheat them on weight and/or price. Since we pick up the wet cacao at collection stations every 15 days, much of this extra work can be put into increasing their production, which is where most of their money is made.