G&B’S in Belize
Green & Black's has been buying organic cocoa from the TCGA farmer's co-operative in Belize since 1994 and paying a fair guaranteed price – above the world cocoa price. In 2003, we extended our activities with cocoa farmers and started our Belize Program to provide even more support. We decided to invest £225,000 over three years with the TCGA and this money was kindly matched by a grant from the British government (DFID). This investment in cocoa farming communities was used to help improve management and farming practices, rehabilitate hurricane damaged crops, plant more cocoa trees, and train farmers in better growing methods. Today, Green & Black's continues to provide technical advice and support the farmers in Belize.
We are happy that we have been able to help the TCGA and farmers achieve greater economical sustainability. This area is the poorest part of Belize and Green & Black's is keen to help the local community improve their quality of life. Prior to June 2003, there was declining TCGA membership and static cocoa bean production. Today, there is a strong feeling of ownership among the TCGA executive and the farmers. The former Chairman of the TCGA, Pablo Cal has said that he was "very excited about the [cocoa] industry." Since 2003, more farmers have joined the TCGA and many farmers have been renovating and returning to their farms. Interest has moved beyond the farmers to other communities throughout Belize and has received mention by the Belize government.