AVSF is helping FONMSOEAM, an organization in northern Ecuador, get back on its feet after a devastating earthquake so that it can keep producing high-quality, organic fair-trade cocoa.
An earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit the coast of Ecuador on April 16, 2016. It caused considerable destruction, and more than 700 people were declared missing. A few days later, FONMSOEAM—an organization of small cocoa producers comprising 400 families—sent a call for support to AVSF, having already worked with AVSF between 2008 and 2010.
FONMSOEAM recorded significant material damage to its members' houses and to three collection, fermentation, drying and storage centers. Vulnerable families sell high-quality, organic, aromatic cocoa to intermediaries well below the prices offered by FONMSOEAM, whose business is threatened.
Just before the earthquake, 200 new families applied to join FONMSOEAM because of the commercial success it enjoys thanks to the company ETHIQUABLE on the European market, and because of the higher prices obtained for organic fair-trade cocoa.
AVSF decided to launch a call for donations to the French general public, a move which brought in a lot of generous support. AVSF's work aims to reduce the vulnerability of 600 smallholder families who produce high-quality, aromatic cocoa in the Esmeraldas province.
AVSF wants to rebuild 50 houses for smallholder families and the organization's facilities that were destroyed in the quake, help 200 new families join the organization, improve the production of high-quality organic cocoa, help FONMSOEAM certify its cocoa and sell it on the fair-trade market, and help the organization expand its production infrastructure and improve its administrative and commercial abilities.
FONMSOEAM exports premium cocoa, and this initiative will allow the organization to position itself as a national leader when it comes to promoting the work of smallholders.