Loved by the world, chocolate comes from an Amazonian fruit - cocoa. It is no coincidence that Brazil is among the major world producers with 252 million tons of cocoa produced in 2019. The chocolate production chain is one of the most important for the Amazon. In Pará alone, it generates about 300 thousand direct and indirect jobs, according to the state's Agricultural Defense Agency (Adepará), responsible for registering producers. The income produced with the fruit in the state reaches R$ 787.5 million per year.
The collection of native cocoa and planting in agroforestry systems has the potential to generate economic gains, while helping to conserve forests. However, there are still few initiatives that seek to add value to Amazonian production, using its potential for socio-environmental impact. The Partnership for the Amazon Platform (PPA) Acceleration and Investment Program portfolio has three projects that seek this impact. De Mendes, Cacauway and Na'kau produce chocolate with an Amazonian flavor that brings more income to local communities.
“Chocolate can be an agent in this conservation, in the construction of a better world, due to the characteristics with which it occurs in the Amazon. It has a very large social impact and is a biodiverse and preservationist plant. In addition, it is very tasty ”, explains César De Mendes. The chocolatier creates different chocolate bars with different species of cocoa native to the Amazon. Its almonds are purchased from around 30 indigenous, quilombola and riverside communities, and help preserve 290,000 hectares of forest.
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