Improving Institutional Capacity to Mitigate Trade Barriers due to High Cadmium Levels in Cacao
The cacao produced by Andean countries has a strong reputation for high quality. However, the soils are naturally more enriched in cadmium (Cd) concentrations compared to other producing regions in the world. This issue is highly sensitive from a socio-economic perspective since 90% of the production in the hands of poor small-scale farmers.
This project aims to improve the institutional capacity in Colombia and Ecuador to manage Cd concentrations in cacao and cocoa products using a coordinated solution based on regional collaboration. It focuses on three expected results:
(1) harmonise methods for cacao sampling and measurement of cadmium levels in cocoa and soils according to international standards; thereby preparing the countries for adequate inspection and potential certification/accreditation programs;
(2) improve mapping baselines and mapping capacity for zoning of vulnerable areas in the two countries, based on harmonised methods and data on cadmium levels in cacao beans; and
(3) develop scientifically sound and context-relevant guidelines on good agricultural practices that lower cadmium levels in cacao.