The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) officially recognized El Salvador as a 100% fine cacao exporting country last week, according to a document shared by the Cacao Alliance yesterday.
The Cacao Alliance, spearheaded by Catholic Relief Services (CRS), has been promoting cacao cultivation and production in El Salvador since 2014. Their efforts have not only increased cacao yields, created over 300 water reservoirs, and generated employment opportunities but have also led to international recognition of the quality of Salvadoran cacao.
Jairo Andrade, the project director, explained that they initially requested ICCO recognition in 2017 but were unsuccessful. However, six years later, the situation has changed, placing this ancient product on par with countries like Brazil.
Andrade noted that they submitted their application to ICCO for evaluation by a panel in April of this year. In June, the jury acknowledged the quality of Salvadoran cacao, and the ICCO’s board ratified the decision on October 12.
“This panel submits the report to the ICCO board, which either approves or modifies it. In this case, they accepted that El Salvador be recognized as a 100% fine cacao exporting country for the first time,” emphasized Andrade.
The October publications indicate that El Salvador, along with Costa Rica, Grenada, Jamaica, Madagascar, and Trinidad and Tobago, maintains high-quality standards for cacao.