Members of the project “Generating Employment and Sustainability in the South-Southeast of Mexico" (SURGES), led by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the "Agrovita" project by PepsiCo, signed an agreement to strengthen sustainable cocoa production in southeastern Mexico. This initiative aims to promote sustainable cocoa production by encouraging responsible agricultural practices and linking farmers with anchor companies.
USAID and PepsiCo will work together to develop technical assistance mechanisms to strengthen the different market segments of the cocoa supply chain in the region.
Mileydi Guilarte, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau, USAID, underscored that collaborative initiatives like this one can help empower small producers by inserting them into value chains, while creating a more sustainable future for generations to come. “Let's continue working hand in hand, forming alliances and making a real difference in the lives of those who feed our nations," she said. Meanwhile Flavia Schlesinger, General Manager of Mexico Business Services, PepsiCo, stressed that the agreement will help build a more resilient and inclusive cocoa sector in Mexico.
USAID’s SURGES project focuses on developing inclusive and sustainable economic opportunities in the south of Mexico, specifically in the states of Veracruz, Yucatan, Tabasco, Campeche, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Quintana Roo. Meanwhile, Agrovita seeks to promote regenerative agricultural practices, fostering the well-being of vulnerable farming communities. By 2024, PepsiCo expects to benefit 1,000 small and medium-sized producers of banana, cocoa and palm oil, impacting over 30,000 people through activities aimed at improving health, food security and water safety in their localities.
In terms of production volume, Tabasco accounts for 66.9% of the total cocoa production, yielding 17,281t. Subsequently, Chiapas contributes 32.9% of the output, amounting to 9,346t, while Guerrero occupies third position with 236t, equivalent to 0.2% of the national production. At a global scale, Mexico’s cacao exports are minimal, with around 621t, of which 79% are sent to Belgium and the US.