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No cocoa without shade

No cocoa without shade
09 oktober 2018
Our cocoa comes from Ivory Coast and Ghana, where we work together with a total of five cooperatives. Two of them; Ecojad and Kapatchiva are located in the north of Ivory Coast. The dry periods in this area are longer and warmer than in the southern areas and that makes cocoa production more difficult there. But ... there is a solution for that and that is the shadow tree. We will explain how that works in this blog.

Shadow trees give cocoa plants a helping hand
Cocoa plants are in full sun on many cocoa plantations. And that's not so good for the plant, which originally grew in the lower layers of the rainforest. That is why Tony’s has talked to the farmers about the importance of so-called shadow trees. These are placed on the plantations between the existing cocoa plants and provide - if they have grown large enough for shade on the plantation. The natural habitat of the cocoa is thus imitated much more. And that is important! Especially in the places where it is so hot and dry.

What does that mean?
There are many benefits to the shade tree. In addition to shade, trees provide more biodiversity and natural balance, which means that pests and diseases occur less frequently and fewer chemicals are needed. On the ground, weeds grow less fast. All this is not only pleasant for the cocoa plants, but it also saves the farmer time and money. The plantation is thus better protected against extreme weather and failed harvests.

Save for shade trees
Still disadvantages .. Shade trees are not cheap. About 1 euro per tree. It may not seem like much, but it is for a cocoa farmer. And it takes 5 to 10 years for a shade tree to be large enough. To give the shadow tree project a boost, we did a promotion with the World Shop this summer. When each Tony’s Exclusive bar was sold, 10 cents went into a shade-tree pot and at the end of the ride the Chocolonely Foundation doubled the amount. The customers of the World Shop have saved no less than 3,000 trees together! With this we can help dozens of farmers to improve their plantations. And that will hopefully pay off in the years to come (cocoa) fruit!
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