Entrepreneurial innovation pathways of the Amazonian cocoa chocolate value chain: A success associative story in San Martin, Peru
Jeimy Katherin Feo Mahecha1,2, Jeisson Rodriguez-Valenzuela2
1Technische Universität Dresden, CIPSEM, Germany
COVID-19 and the Ukraine war have affected the agricultural sector, especially Latin America. These consequences are reflected in higher prices for agricultural inputs due to the rise of the US dollar, instability in the price paid for harvested products, drastic shifts to other economic activities by farmers, and unemployment in rural areas. One case that has become evident in the Peruvian Amazon is the cocoa crisis, which is a crop that has been profitable in recent years for peasant and indigenous communities; however, due to its high dependency and low diversification, as well as the poor innovation in the production schemes, it has had an impact on the family economy of smallholders. Therefore, this study sought to analyse the resilience case of a cocoa bean trading company (ABISEO FOODS SAC) that had to transform its business model to intervene in the entire value chain on a small scale in the Juanjui municipality (San Martin, Peru). The methodology implemented was based on a SWOT analysis of the business model, the assessment of the profitability, and other foresight methods. The results showed that the success factors of this company in facing the current crises were based on the following actions: 1. Organizing a group of thirty-six small cocoa farmers who have distinguished themselves for their commitment and product quality; however, they have not been able to diversify their crops. 2. Train the association of cocoa producers created by this company on issues related to good agricultural practices. 3. To decide not to compete with large cocoa marketing companies, but on the contrary, to transform the best quality cocoa beans into chocolates and different derivatives, launching its brand to access local, regional, national, and international markets. 4. Through the consortium between the company, the producers' association, and other stakeholders agreed to apply for environmental calls with agroforestry projects that promote the conservation of forest resources in the Peruvian Amazon and the sustainable use of its ecosystem services. Finally, the results of this study could be used as a baseline for decision-making to transform food systems into equitable and sustainable pathways.
Keywords: Agroindustry, associative Innovation, entrepreneurship, Peruvian Amazon
Contact Address: Jeimy Katherin Feo Mahecha, Technische Universität Dresden, CIPSEM