Last year was extremely eventful for the cashew market as kernel prices reached the highest levels known for this commodity specifically in India and Vietnam but also in other producing countries such as Brazil , Sri Lanka and the Ivory Coast. Both India and Vietnam import large quantities of in-shell cashews to supplement their crops as they cannot produce enough material from their growing areas to satisfy world wide demand. These imports are handled by brokers/traders mainly based in India (in the Kashmir region) who try to manipulate the market by holding on to stock to create a shortage. As well as this, a combination of zero carry over stock, poor yields, Indian import taxes and good demand both domestically and worldwide resulted in very high prices.
As the harvesting seasons approached in India and Vietnam prices gradually lowered in anticipation of better crops and also because the brokers who were squeezing the market now wanted to lower their inventories before March/April when the new season started. Some plants in Vietnam and India did buy some stock of imported material as soon as prices eased in the hope of achieving sales prior to their own crops being available.
We visited Vietnam a week ago to assess the market and found that some producers stocked up on imported material at lower prices than earlier in the year but were unable to make enough sales to clear their stock prior to the new crop so were selling product at a loss and unable to take advantage of lower prices for their home grown cashews.
Our prediction is that this year prices may not reach the stellar levels of 2017 but will still be at a higher average price than we have had over the last five years
Peru is recognized by the International Cocoa Organization as one of the few countries in the world that produces fine and aromatic cocoa. Sustainable sourcing of fine and aromatic cocoa has been identified as one of the priority areas for the sustainable development of the agricultural sector in Peru. Cocoa production involves around 300,000 people from different regions.
Varieties & growing areas
Peru grows Trinitary, Amazon foreign and Creole cacao varieties. The Creole variety is expanding rapidly because of its higher quality resulting from greater fat content. The climate is extremely favourable, with the ideal amount of rainfall (approximately 2,500 mm per annum), falling evenly throughout the year. Smallholder agriculture accounts for the majority of the native cocoa production in Peru and is the main source of income for the local rural population.
Please find below a map of the main growing areas in Peru.
Latest market info
Cocoa prices witnessed a general upward trend during the month past 2 months. They increased on average by 30% on the New York market. This followed a re-assessment of both production and grindings, respectively lower and higher than previously estimated, by the end of 2017/18. This price rally was supported by raising concern over the dry and hot weather, which prevailed in West Africa in the previous months, and to some extent by the decision of the Conseil du Café-Cacao (CCC), Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa marketing board, to halt cocoa production-boosting programmes in response to falling international prices. The overall market expectations for the 2017/18 mid-crop outlook changed following the news of abundant rainfall had occurred in West African cocoa producing countries.
We expect prices to continue to rise in the next couple of months. As for now the availability is not an issue, since the new crop in Peru is about to start. The local production is running smoothly.
We advise you to cover your needs asap. We are still able to offer very competitive prices from our BRC certified supplier.
We can offer:
– Organic cacao nibs (raw or roasted)
– Organic cacao powder
– Organic cacao liquor (drops, blocks or wafers)
– Organic cacao butter (drops, blocks or wafers)
Our supplier is committed to maintain a cocoa supply chain that guarantees social and environmentally responsible practices encouraging the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable rural development giving equal weigh to Economic development and an Environmental responsible agriculture. They provide free technical assistance and training to encourage farmers to adopt environmentally friendly practices and the expansion opportunities have taken us steps towards greening our operations to mitigate our environmental impact, implement traceability and generate alliances to ensure social investments in rural development.
They have also developed a Development and Sustainability Program in order to encourage the cultivation of certificated organic and sustainable cocoa improving farmers’ income and increase their standard of living. There are 3000 families involved in this program. They are also supporting a local school in the area. In 2014 they obtained the FLOCERT Fair Trade certification.
Indonesia’s Java island is the size of the United Kingdom and has twice the population, mostly gathered in the cities on its shores. Along Java’s green volcanic spine are found some of the most fertile lands on earth, bathed by tropical rains and warmed by tropical sunshine. Here are located the 600 family farms that produce Holos Integra organic coconut sugar.
Dominiq Haliman founded the company Holos Integra five years ago. She first planned to produce and market milk-free ice cream, but during this process she discovered the great advantages of coconut sugar and then decided to invest in this ingredient. “For this ice cream I used coconut blossom sugar and I was impressed by this product, the coconut blossom sugar gave the ice cream a great taste and I decided to take the chance and get started.”
Via Alibaba.com, they quickly sold the first shipment of coconut blossom sugar. “My first customer was a chocolate producer in Norway, who asked me if the sugar was also organic. I am very grateful to them, without the confidence of this company I would never have come this far.” At the beginning of 2014, Rhumveld Winter & Konijn started an agreement with Holos Ingra and took care of the distribution within Europe.
Coconut blossom sugar comes from the flowers that grow on the coconut trees. “Timing is essential in the process: the blossom should not be opened and cut before the nuts begin to grow on the tree. The flower should be incised at exactly the right time.” Bamboo buckets are hung under the open-cut blossom, in which the juice leaks. “Families work together in this process. Usually men collect the juice from the trees and women then boil the juice for six hours.” She admits to have looked into the possibilities of modernizing this process. “But that is impossible and we do not want to. It is a tradition that we should not disrupt.”
Dominiq indicates that the yield varies per season. “This depends, of course, on the circumstances: for 1 kilogram of coconut blossom we need 6 liters of juice.” Coconut blossom sugar from Indonesia, according to Dominiq, tastes very different than coconut blossom sugar from, for example, the Philippines: “It really has an exceptional taste, I suspect this is because the coconut trees in Indonesia grow mainly in higher areas.”
Twice a day our farmers harvest the nectar sap of the coconut flower blossom, which we call nira. The nira is boiled down until it thickens and changes colour from translucent to golden brown, then it is granulated by hand. The granules dilute and melt easily but they do not have a tendency to burn, reducing the chance of dreaded caramel failure, so common with sugar cane. Our coconut sugar has been pre-selected from the moment it was harvested through quality assessment of the liquid sap. It is then delicately cooked using a process that requires skill and attention in order to preserve the quality sap from overcooking or other mishandling.
The finished product imparts a toffee-like aroma and tastes like perfectly undercooked caramel, and comes in a soft granular form that provides the most convenience in food applications.
Coconut sugar/caramel also has other advantages: it keeps your blood sugar low and has sweet caramel notes. After cooking, the sugar is dried twice, first in the Javanese sun, then in an oven.
Sometimes we hear from people that production process of coconut blossom sugar is confused with production processes of palm oil. That is not the case at all. There are no trees cut down and it is a continuous and sustainable process. The palm trees continue to produce juice.
“Coconut blossom sugar can be processed in many ways, so I am convinced that this ingredient is not just a hype. Many people use it to sweeten their granola or use it in their bakery products. Also more and more chocolate producers use it to replace regular sugar.”
Edgar Montenegro founded Corpocampo in 2003 with the aim of using food production to build sustainable communities. The Colombian Pacific Coast region has long been affected by the country’s internal conflict, leading to widespread poverty, violence, and illegal coca crop production. Edgar wanted to improve peoples’ lives by providing a legal and reliable source of income. His company specializes in the production and distribution of Açaí berries and Palm hearts, with all products deriving from sustainable farming practices. Operating in several locations in Colombia, Edgar works closely with local Afro-Colombian communities and indigenous people. Corpocampo has provided jobs for over 240 female-headed households, impacting over 1,300 families. Edgar is recognized for his courageous achievements proving how the private sector can build peace by identifying business opportunities that help marginalised groups become more resilient.
“I am proud of the work we have been doing for several years in Corpocampo,” said Montenegro. “It is very gratifying to be recognised for the work we do in places where the situation of poverty and insecurity is very different to the one in the capital. Although it is often difficult to do business in the middle of the jungle due to the lack of infrastructure and the presence of armed groups and drug traffickers, we know that what we do in Corpocampo ensures the well-being of 1,300 families and we have a very big commitment to them.”
Açaí contains a potent combination of cholesterol-reducing fats and anti-aging antioxidants and became one of the fastest-growing superfoods in Europe.
For more information, please visit the website of Business for Peace;
Jaime Carrera, a peasant born in Puerto Asís, spent many years from one rural division to another growing coca leaf. He describes his relationship with this plant as a curse. It was in the village of Paradise where he, along with other farmers, decided to change his strategy and opt to diversify crops. The town that once lived harrowing stories of violence, is now one of the drivers of change in the South of the country, providing new opportunities to farmers that for years only found sustenance in the cultivation of the coca leaf, or in illegal activities such as the illicit trade of wildlife or wood.
In this framework of progress and hope, another plant has the leading role in this story, the Palm of Sancristán as it is called in Putumayo, also popularly known as Açai; a fruit that in Brazil reaches 6,000 tons in trade. The Açai is popular not only for its nutritional benefits, since it has a high content of antioxidants, vitamins A, C and B, essential fats such as omega 3, 6 and 9 and proteins, but also because it has paved the way for new economic opportunities in the area. Increasingly, farmers realize that growing Açai is more profitable and less dangerous than cultivating coca leaf.
The Açai harvesting is done manually, in Palms that can be signifyingly high, and although the climbing technique may vary between farmer, it must be done very carefully to avoid damaging the Açai.
Corpocampo is the largest producer of Açai in Colombia. With presence both in the Pacific and in Putumayo, Corpocampo has three production plants in the Cauca, Nariño and Putumayo departments. Açai has become an example of development and sustainability from the social, environmental and economic perspective.
Social viability rests in the support and training of families who formerly engaged in the cultivation of the coca leaf, reinforcing the empowerment of farmers to their land with legitimate products. The production of Açai requires fauna. Thus, birds and rodents are the best allies for this ecosystem, spread throughout the land seeds that will blossom into future Palms and provide work for more families. The Department of Putumayo provides a suitable environment where the agro-ecological conditions of precipitation, temperature, and altitude, in relation to sea level, are ideal for its development. Furthermore, the Açai is a plant has a life and production expectancy of between 70 and 80 years, which increases the biomass per area, as well as life expectancy of the fauna and flora.
Annually, Corpocampo is producing about 5,000 tons, of which 98% is for export and only 2% for domestic sale. In Colombia, this product is not well known and is sold only to certain economic sectors of society, whereas in countries like Brazil, Açai can be found in every corner as a coffee substitute. The major Açai consumers are in North America, Asia, and Europe.
It´s needless to say that Açai is a development alternative which complies with the law and environmental regulations in Colombia. Because it was not only until 2011 that Açai become commercial, this new market opens many investment opportunities. Nonetheless, there is still a long way to go in terms of technical training and market penetration in the domestic market. Açai, also known as the black gold of the Amazon, is an excellent example of how illicit crops of the coca leaf can be substituted, providing better living conditions for local farmers.
In the past couple of years Corpocampo has been working hard to improve the quality of their products. One of the recent improvements is the adjustment of the MESH size of the Organic Freeze Dried Açaí Powder. They now use a sieve of 0,3 mm and can offer a MESH of 50. Corpocampo is also developing an organic aseptic Açaí pulp.
We are happy to send you sample and/or quotations. We receive shipments on a regular basis, so we can always offer fresh products.