Nicaraguan cocoa goes to Europe
Bars of dark chocolate and milk chocolate made with Nicaragua cocoa are on sale in Belgium as part of a project of Belgian foundations Collibri and Rikolto, which help small farmers in poor countires to develop a productive, sustainable livelihood.
The cocoa is grown by a cooperative in Matagalpa, in Nicaragua’s central highlands.
Colibri emphasizes vocational education, while Rikolto helps farmers find access to capital and markets.
The Venture Philanthropy Fund, part of the King Baudouin Foundation funds both operations.
The Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation also supports the Nicaragua project, which sells cocoa for processing and sale through the Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt, as part of its Boni Selection line of products.
One of Belgium’s biggest retailers, Colruyt’s environmental practices include a 2016 inauguration of a charging station for hydrgon-powered cars, and a reduction of more than 50% of C02 emission from store cooling sytems, by converting to propane.