Canadian impact investor NatureBank Asset Management and U.S.-based Southern Harvest Partners are ramping up sustainable cocoa production in the Dominican Republic with a $14 million joint venture.
The Dominican Republic is the eighth-largest cocoa producer and largest organic cocoa producer in the $8 billion global cocoa industry.
Growing demand among chocolate producers for sustainably and organically grown cocoa has spurred moves to improve cocoa’s inefficient and opaque supply chains.
NatureBank and Southern Harvest Partners have been looking for land to acquire in the Dominican Republic and expect to plant their first crops later this year.
Forest Finest Consulting, a unit of NatureBank, will develop and manage each project and find buyers for the cocoa.