VENEZUELAN COCOA, SECTOR UPDATE:

Due to the turbulence in the Venezuelan cocoa sector and unrest in the international markets as a consequence, we felt the need to start publishing on the matter. It is in the interest of Venezuelan cocoa importers, traders and processors all over the world, to have a source of scarce objective information regarding the situation. We want to be that course.

Internal power struggle over market control: ‘Alianza de Cacao Venezolano’
• The general director for the coordination of Agricultural Policies Jose Camacho Torrealba, has been issuing new permits mainly for exports to Europe and USA, however he is still restricting authorizations to Japan.

• Jose Camacho Torrealba suspiciously issued a statement to The Chocolate and Cocoa Association of Japan (CCAJ). He reported that only a group of seven exporters (a new public-private partnership named ‘Alianza de Cacao Venezolano’) is allowed to export cocoa to Japan leaving out traditional exporters such as:
Global Trade C&C, Agropecuaria Carenero, Cacao San José and Bohnkaf.

• The ‘Alianza de Cacao Venezolano’ consists of:
Primo Cocoa/’Tisano’, Fesa Group, Cocoanet, Procaven, Agrosunca, Cacique del Cacao, Santo Niño. These companies combined represent no more than 10% of total Venezuelan cocoa export.

• Primo Cacao/’Tisano’ represented by Patrick Pineda and Jhoana Verhook, have been discrediting other exporters in communications to international buyers abusing the current situation. They mentioned; ‘’In December there were two companies with rejections of cacao from Japan. Tisano is our Foreign sales company, has worked hands in hand with the Ministry to correct the problem and create a public-private association, Alliance of Venezuela Cacao”.
Primo Cacao/Tisano as a new export company in Venezuela probably does not know that the herbicide 2,4-D issue in Japan has been a problem for exporters, importers and chocolate manufactures already for almost 10 years. It is not just a problem for Venezuelan cocoa beans, but also for many other origins around the world.



• Because of the cocoa export restrictions to Japan, Venezuelan exporters used triangulation across Europe and USA to sell cocoa to Japan.

• During the month May ‘15, two new batches of Venezuelan cocoa have been identified to be contaminated with the herbicide 2,4-D. These exports to Japan were executed by the ‘Alianza de Cacao Venezolano’, which consists of the seven companies mentioned above. This happened despite the fact that they and their spokesman use 2,4-D as an argument against the traditional exporters to gain market share.

2,4-D Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid
For the herbicide 2,4-D, Venezuela has no maximum limit for cocoa beans. This herbicide is used by producers who are in contact with other crops who which apply this product, as for example the case with rice, corn, sugarcane, etc. The maximum level of 2,4-D allowed by Japan is 0.01ppm (0.01mg/kg) and 0.1ppm (0.1mg/kg) in Europe.
More info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic_acid

• The Venezuelan chocolate industry is almost supplied, only missing the volume of cocoa for exportation (approx. 4.000MT), in order to place the entire production.

• Mr. Camacho Jose Torrealba also issued a statement reporting that from December’14 untill April'15 authorizations have been given for 2.152.140 kg of cocoa and 80,000 kg of cocoa butter. Not all authorized cocoa however was finally really dispatched, as those authorizations are only valid during 30 days, which for many exporters is a difficult timeframe.

CROP
• The 2014/’15 crop prepares with the onset of the rains in May for the harvest known as San Juanera or Middle crop for the months of June-July. There is still cocoa available from the main crop (December-January) to be placed in the markets; we must bear in mind that within two months, new cocoa will become available. Producers from Barlovento, Sur del lago and Rio Caribe area have commented that; “the middle crop will come out good”.

Is has been an extremely difficult crop due to negligence of human ignorance. However, influencers and traditional exporters keep working hard for a stable situation, so that the next harvest will flow normally and efficiently to all the traditional Venezuelan markets. We are dedicated to protect the interests of all parties involved in the Venezuelan cocoa sector.