Opportunities in Cacao Supply

Regenerative Agriculture is an evolving paradigm and system of eco-social farming patterns, principles, processes, and practices for cultivating crops, stewarded and developed by a global community of farmers, entrepreneurs, researchers, companies, organizations, and individuals, with the goals of regenerating ecosystems and cultures while contributing to the reversal of global climate change.

This manual assesses the Global Cacao Industry and identifies key risks and opportunities for development towards regenerative potential. Our aim is to grow industry stakeholder capacities and capabilities to think and act regeneratively and, through the formation of Regenerative Cacao Supply Systems, catalyze ecological and social regeneration throughout the ecosystems and communities with whom they work and significantly contribute to the reversal of global climate change.


Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative Agriculture is a paradigm shift from the perspective that all agriculture damages or is at odds with natural systems. It aims to reconcile the perceived tensions, by turning human intelligence and innovation towards creating antifragile agricultural landscapes that holistically improve ecosystems and communities.

The Global Cacao Industry

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reports that 10 Million HA/yr of land worldwide is dedicated to the production of Cacao with a total global production of 4.5 Million Mg/yr (c.2013). The Regenerative Cacao manual investigates the production area, yield and production of cacao per country.

Risks in Cacao Supply

Slavery, Cacao Shortage, Deforestation, Loss of genetic cacao diversity, and degenerative practices all create unseen stress on the existing cacao supply webs. Or why only 5% of the cacao can be considered slave free and why it is a fair assumption that agricultural practices predominate towards the Degenerative end of the regenerative spectrum.

Levels of Regenerative Cacao Agroforesty

From a conventional monoculture CCN-51 to a multi-strata, biodiverse system that mimics the pre-existing forest in structure and function.

Regenerative Cacao Developmental Process

Genetic selection, pruning, disease control, integrated fertility management, integrated watershed management and heavy metal toxicity concerns.

Community Resourcing & Empowerment

Livelihood diversification and resilience, rural to urban migration, gender equality & female empowerment, road development and tourism, peer-to-peer certification, community organizing for disaster relief

Regenerative Cacao Supply System: Supply Web Examples

A growing group of consumer product goods companies including Patagonia, Organic India, Nutiva and Lush Cosmetics have been leading the way towards Regenerative Agriculture. They are supported by many non-profit organizations, including Carbon Underground, Regeneration International, Project Drawdown, Kiss the Ground, Via Campesina, and the Apios Institute. Design and consulting firms like Regrarians, Terra Genesis International, Regenerative Design Group, Whole Systems Design, and many others from the international Permaculture community.

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