United Cacao Limited SEZC is a pure-play cacao producer and currently the only publicly listed permanent crop estate in Latin America. The Company trades with the ticker symbol CHOC on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and also on the Lima Stock Exchange. All of the Company's estate staff are employed under Peruvian labor contracts in accordance with the Peruvian Ministry of Labour and paid above national standards via electronic direct deposit to their personal bank accounts. We believe this sets the global labour standard for large-scale, ethically produced cacao. All of the Company's estates are on freehold land that is zoned for full agricultural development by the Peruvian authorities under Legislative Decree 838 in 1997 and further confirmed by the Peruvian courts in detailed rulings on 30 September 2014 on 26 March 2015. Every land title currently owned by the Company was purchased via a notary process from Peruvian citizens who had secured the land in 1997 by demonstrating existing agricultural activities. As per the law, these original owners demonstrated evidence of on-going agricultural activities which then had to be certified by the local authorities. A sample of such agricultural certification documentation can be found here. Furthermore, it is illegal for the Peruvian authorities to allocate land title to citizens on areas of bosque primario (i.e. primary rainforest); furthermore, there are no native communities within proximity of the estates.
In an industry plagued with labor abuses, including child labor, human trafficking, slavery, United Cacao Limited SEZC seeks to provide a clear path forward for ethically produced cacao to the world marketplace.
Through its wholly owned Peruvian operating subsidiary, Cacao del Peru Norte SAC (CDPN), the Group seeks to become the world’s largest and lowest cost corporate grower of cacao when it completes the planting of its existing 3,250 hectare estate in 2017. In addition, the Group has initiated an adjacent 3,250 hectare small farmer out-grower initiative, Programa Alianza Producción Estratégica Cacao (“PAPEC”), with local communities that it intends to complete planting by 2021, thereby taking the total project to 6,500 hectares. Under PAPEC, the Group extends micro-financing to select small growers to plant cacao and then purchase their "wet" beans for processing and drying at the Group's fermentation facilities. At present, there are 200 hectares land planted under the PAPEC program; we expect to reach a total of 500 hectares of PAPEC plantings by 31 December 2016 involving over 300 families. Our community team also provides free legal assistance for these families to secure formal title on their lands. Read more