Implications for scaling
The case of the cocoa farmers in Flores is very much a case of scaling up the production that meets new product demands. The private sector, in this case PT Mars, has the interest of acquiring cocoa beans of a certain quality in order to meet consumer demand. VECO contributed in bringing local farmers and a global enterprise together, benefitting the farmers by increasing their income and securing their livelihoods and benefitting PT Mars by providing them with more cocoa beans that meets PT Mars’ standards. The case shows that this kind of cooperation can trigger positive results.
Before the cooperation farmers got USD 0.92 per kilogram of wet beans and this has now become USD 1.13. The partnership between JANTAN and PT Mars is unwritten, because the price of cocoa fluctuates with the dollar exchange rate. Since the new system of 2011, the farmers have to negotiate with the middlemen about the prices of their beans, instead of with PT Mars. Besides these better prices, farmers can get large quality fees if they are able to meet PT Mars’ production and quality standards. The farmers have gained skills to negotiate and they are able to deal with different buyers. This and the fact that they are able to deliver higher volumes, and better quality of the beans are supporting issues that ensure a good/better price on the long term.
The intercropping yields in a more secure income for farmers because when the cocoa harvest is poor, the farmers still have an income from the other crops. Also, before the participation in the farmer field schools, the production was only 30 fruits per tree. After the training this became 40 fruits per tree because of the implementation of the P3S’s technique and losses were lower.