We have finished our field visits to collect data to model the economic viability of the wet mills. We were in Tarapoto and Moyobamba this past week (both
in the San Martín region of Peru). We met several new colleagues based in Tarapoto and learned more about the current work focused on the cacao industry.
We had several colleagues from the Tingo María office in Tarapoto and Moyobamba, as well, which was an added treat!
In Moyobambo, we saw more examples of established and functioning central wet mills - this helped to round out our understanding of what factors increase
economic viability of the mills. These farmers typically had either a more centralized organization or easier accessibility, which helped make their
implementation successful. While in Moyobambo, we also had the opportunity to taste test the specialty coffee. This “cupping process,” or tasting, is done
for all the coffee that is labeled specialty by coffee farmers and is performed to ensure that the quality is of a certain level.
In Tarapoto, we were able to visit a cacao farm where the farmer shared that his farm has seen production increase three times over from improving
agronomic processes. We also visited several chocolate processing plants – ranging from a small organization of 13 women to a plant where we were outfitted
in full scrubs so as to not contaminate the factory.
With one week left in our assignment, we are back in Lima compiling and analyzing data for our final presentation!