Can Blockchain Make Chocolate More Just?
Rosalindo Guerrero has been clearing the ground all morning with her machete and planting saplings under the hot tropical sun. His farm is located in Ecuador’s Cordillera del Condor, in the transition zone between the Andes and the Amazon. The work is exhausting, which is why most of his children decided to migrate to the city, or found work with the mining companies that recently arrived to the area. Only his two youngest are still at home.
The family of small farmers survives on a traditional mix of companion crops they grow, mostly for self-sufficiency, on their eight hectares of land. The rest, mainly bananas and cocoa, is marketed through the Ecuadorian farming cooperative Apeosae. But market prices are low, and Guerrero has had problems with mold and fungi. This is why he decided to start growing more cocoa. “And then this project came along, the blockchain, and I was convinced,” the 55-year-old farmer says, wiping a few a few drops of sweat from his forehead with a tattered old towel.
Photo courtesy of Irene Scott / AusAID / Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.