There are many challenges to achieving a sustainable cocoa economy
We face a number of serious challenges, such as diseases, climate change and food safety issues. These threaten farmer livelihoods and the cocoa supply chain, now and into the future, through their impact on yields and farm economics.
Good planting materials are at the heart of cocoa sustainability
Genetic resources are needed to develop new planting materials, incorporating traits such as disease resistance, high yield potential, drought resilience, flavour and quality.
Diversity is required to address our unknown future needs
A diverse range of plants is required to select traits we need for future varieties since we don't know what the future holds.
International collections conserve over 2500 cacao varieties
At the heart of this initiative are the two international cocoa collections managed by CATIE (Costa Rica) and CRC/UWI (Trinidad), where over 2500 cocoa varieties are maintained in the field.
Ongoing characterisation of material facilitates identification and improves the efficiency of the conservation effort and use of the material.
The safe distribution of plants around the world
The international collections make their material available via the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre, University of Reading (UK), to minimise the risk of spreading pests and diseases.
But our genetic resources are still at risk
Cocoa genetic resources are under threat in the wild, and even the varieties that are held in collections are at risk due to under-resourcing and lack of secure, long-term funding.