European Union puts a magnifying glass on DR for cocoa growers’ drama

Thanks to cocoa production, the Dominican Republic maintains an important share of the world commodities market, after having lost other important traditional positions as an exporter of coffee and sugar:

Of course, small countries like this one cannot compete in terms of volume with large cocoa producers like Ghana and Ivory Coast, which together produce more than 60% of the world’s cocoa harvest. But in contrast to them, the Dominican Republic has identified the genetic base of its plantations, using much less chemicals, resulting in its plantations being more harmless and healthy due to the lack of parasites.

All these factors have made possible the implementation of an organic production that has managed to enter the selective markets of Europe, Asia and North America.

Indeed, in 2019 the country recorded an export equal to 31,615 tons of organic cocoa beans. For the 2020-2021 period, it is expected to reach 39,000 tons.

But it is of no use to local farmers that the Dominican Republic ranks first in the export of organic cocoa worldwide and is included in the selected group of the 15 countries in the world recognized as producers of gourmet cocoa, if the living conditions of its producers remain miserable.

It is ironic that the efforts of small farmers are one of the most important factors in this activity (which guarantees the nation a significant amount of dollars, essential for its economic performance.

The European Council has adopted a resolution calling on the Commission and the Member States to take the necessary steps to enable the European Union to play a more active role in this area.

60% of all cocoa grown in the Dominican Republic is marketed through middlemen and often financed through loan sharks; this means that the major profit of small producers remains in the hands of people who have nothing to do with the efforts required for this activity; and the large cocoa exporting companies do not want to look beyond their own interests.

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