Help Get Cacao Cooperatives Up and Running Again in Ecuador


If you’ve enjoyed one of Equal Exchange’s Ecuador Organic Dark Chocolate bars, you appreciate cooperative chocolate. Fortaleza del Valle, one of the cocoa bean suppliers for the bar, suffered significant property damage during last year’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake—one of the country’s worst natural disasters in a decade.

Founded in 2005, Fortaleza del Valle is improving living conditions for small-scale cacao producers in the Manabí Province of Ecuador. The co-op has developed post-harvest infrastructure to maximize the quality of its cocoa beans. Now, much of that infrastructure is damaged or destroyed.

A partner organization of Equal Exchange, the Union of Producers of Cacao of Arriba Esmeraldas (UOPROCAE), located close to the earthquake’s epicenter, also weathered extensive damage during the quake.

Through it’s Emergency Fund, the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) is offering cooperators worldwide the opportunity to contribute to the recovery of these Ecuadoran cooperatives businesses and the worker-owners who run them.

January is the final month to make your contribution. Already, Equal Exchange has donated $20,000. With an additional $10,000 pledged by CDF, along with some individual contributions, the Emergency Fund is poised to meet its goal. Your donation will go directly to the co-ops to make repairs to their offices and post-harvest processing centers.

If you would like to contribute to the recovery of cooperators and cooperatives in Ecuador, click the “Donate” button on this website. If you prefer to write a check, mail your donation to CDF at 1775 Eye St. NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20006. Please note that your donation is for Ecuador Earthquake Disaster Recovery.

The Cooperative Development Foundation takes no administrative fee for disaster recovery donations; as a result, 100 percent of your donation will go toward cooperators and cooperatives in need of assistance.

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