Selling your products in the Camari market in Quito is almost an obligatory rite of passage in Ecuador if you want to move forward in marketing quality wares at a fair price. Hundreds of artisanal products ranging from cheeses to jellies and fresh vegetables from different parts of the country are sold in this market – and the delicious chocolates produced by the Association of Production of Cacao and Derived Aromas of the South (Asopromas) will soon be among them.
“A big market like this serves to promote and support artisanal products from different regions, so for a project like Asopromas it’s a good bet to sell our products there because they’ll get the price and promotion that they deserve,” explained Susana Ricaurte, the Inter-American Foundation contracted liaison in Ecuador.
“Many people come to this market because they know that there are exclusive products of high quality at excellent prices and, furthermore, they know that they are supporting local producers.”
Observing the process of placing Asopromas’ products was instructive for the delegation from the Coopecacao Afro of Costa Rica visiting Asopromas as part of an exchange supported by the Inter-American Foundation.
“It is very interesting to see the support system for what is produced, developed, and manufactured here,” noted Ricardo Morris, a farmer from Talamanca, Costa Rica who participated in the exchange. “I think that we can implement this same system in Costa Rica with local producers.”
For several weeks, we are publishing a series of articles about cacao entitled “Food of the Gods” about how the IAF’s community partners are adopting organic production, learning to commercialize their cacao products, improving their livelihoods, and sharing their knowledge. The series title draws from the Latin term for cacao, Theobroma, which means “food of the gods” and speaks to how cacao’s legendary derivative – chocolate – is beloved across the globe.