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Manabi

Fortaleza del Valle cacao farmer carrying crops on his cacao farm in Manabi, Ecuador
  • CO-OP: Fortaleza del Valle
  • PROVINCE: Manabí
  • TOWN: Calceta
  • FARMERS: 600
  • CLIMATE: Tropical humid, 24°C average, influenced by the cold Humboldt current and the warm El Niño current
  • ALTITUDE: 6–350 meters above sea level

COOPERATIVA FORTALEZA DEL VALLE

THE CO-OP

Fortaleza del Valle consists of four agricultural associations: Valle del Carrizal, La Fortaleza, Quiroga, and Rio Grande de Canuto, that primarily are districts of Bolívar, Tosagua, Chone, Junín and Portoviejo, in the Province of Manabí, and composed of small and medium size producers whose objective is to promote the production and commercialization of organically certified, fine aroma Nacional Cocoa, as well as, fair trade and socio-economic and enviornmental development for its members and their families. The co-op has 600 members and together cover 1,700 hectars of agroforestry systems that contribute to the conservation of biodiversity of the enviornment which allows them to produce an annual average of 1,000 pounds of cocoa per hectar. Fortaleza del Valle has been given organic certification for its fine aroma cocoa from NOP, UE and FLO de Comercio Justo (Fair Trade). They have been participants in the fair trade movement since 2005 through the independent organic FLO certification. In the last few years, they have evaluated the generic fair trade standards for small production organizations and have made it a priority to allow producers to choose their own path of development adjusting to their realities in order to simplify and reduce costs.

Conexion Chocolate founder Jenny Samaniego with members of the Fortaleza del Valle Co-Op in Manabi, Ecuador
Calceta city street during the day with bright and colorful CALCETA sign

THE PROVINCE

Located along the central part of Ecuador’s Pacific Coast, Manabí is known for its beautiful beaches, quaint fishing villages, commercial centers such as Manta, which is the country’s second largest port, and Machalilla National Park, with its rich vegetation and varied species of fauna. It also produces many handicrafts and is known worldwide for its pottery and Panama Hats. The province’s climate is dry- to humid- subtropical, with an average temperature of 25 degrees centigrade. This rich environment provides an abundant selection of trees used for lumber and fruit, such as tamarindo, zapote, laurel, avacado, grapefuit, orange, lime, tangerine, currant, etc..

Illustrated map of Ecuador with regions of cacao production marked

LOCATION

  • cacao podARRIBA NACIONAL CACAO
  • CO-OP: Fortaleza del Valle
  • FARMERS: 600
  • PROVINCE: Manabí
  • TOWN: Calceta
  • CLIMATE: Tropical humid , 24°C average, influenced by the cold Humboldt current and the warm El Niño current
  • ALTITUDE: 6–350 meters above sea level

CERTIFICATIONS

USDA Organic logo Fair Trade logo Eco Cert logo Cocoa of Excellence logo EU European Union logo