Since 2017, we have made investments in TEN PROJECTS, in six countries in CENTRAL and SOUTH AMERICA covering a total project area of 17,000 hectares.

 
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Through our Sustainable Agroforestry Fund (SAF) and segregated accounts, we will invest in or commit to projects up to $400 M through 2020.

 

Native hardwoods, teak, acacia, cocoa, coffee, bananas and coconut palms in sustainable agroforestry systems.

The latest technology and best agricultural practices to achieve outstanding yields and product prices for investors.

 

Organic cocoa growing under the shade of coconut palms

Located in the northeast of the Dominican Republic, this magnificent property is graced by fertile soils and natural springs coming from a protected humid forest neighboring the farm.

This 30-year-old coconut farm set across 2,132 Ha was purchased with aim of rehabilitating the established coconut palm plantation back to full productivity and to establish a 800-Ha fine flavor, organic cocoa plantation inter-cropped with coconut palms, which will be the largest in the Dominican Republic and among the largest in the world.

The farm is split between mechanizable area, non-mechanizable area and natural forests. A modern fertigation system will be installed in the mechanizable area. In parallel, new and higher-yielding coconut palms will be planted next to the aging existing ones. The coconut palms will thus keep producing nuts until the new palms start producing. The old palms will then be removed.

The farm has 843 Ha of natural forests that are and will continue to be protected, which will ensure the provision of important ecosystem services such as natural pest control, wind protection, and water flow regulation.

The entire Project will be organic certified and produce premium cocoa for export and a range of premium-quality coconut products, such as virgin coconut oil, coconut water and sugar, sold domestically and abroad.

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FARM FACTS

REGION: Nagua, Dominican Republic

SIZE: 2,132 Ha

MANPOWER: 38 in 2019 to 300 by 2021

FARM TYPE: Mixed

COCOA CLONES: CC-10, CRIOLLO-11, ICS-40, ICS-95, IMC-67, IML-44, ML-105, ML-106, ML-22, UF-221, UF-29, UF-296, UF-613, UF-676

COCONUT HYBRIDS: Chactemal, Donaji

RAINFALL: 3,000 mm/year

ALTITUDE: 36 - 543 meters above sea level

SOIL: Highly weathered Ultisols

APPROACH: Organic farming

KEY FARMING PRACTICES:

  • Inter-cropping

  • Drip fertigation

  • Habitat protection

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Creating mixed forestry systems out of exotic plantations

Boca del Monte is a brownfield forestry project aiming at improving the quality of existing teak and acacia plantations through best silvicultural practices and added-value marketing of high quality certified timber. Boca del Monte is fomenting research and innovative forest management practices through experimental plots with native species combined with old grown teak.

Maximizing the environmental and social impact is an important objective in this project, which has 60 hectares of conservation areas, including gallery forests along watercourses. The Acacia mangium plantations are restoring the very degraded soils to produce timber, while a positive social impact is achieved by creating rural employment, community activities, reforestation in communal areas, and support of education for children and adults in the neighboring communities.

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FARM FACTS

REGION: Chiriquí Panama

SIZE: 399 Ha

MANPOWER: 13

FARM TYPE: Forestry

TREE SPECIES: Tectona grandis, Acacia mangium

RAINFALL: 2700 mm/year

ALTITUDE: 30 - 110 masl

SOIL: Ultisols

APPROACH: Sustainable forestry certified with FSC, Gold Standard

KEY FARMING PRACTICES:

  • Soil restoration,

  • Managing native species (natural regeneration) as next forest generation

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Ecological intensification from the ground-up

On the eastern Caribbean coast of Panama, an enclave of the afro-Caribbean culture, 12Tree is transforming 1,500 hectares of degraded grasslands using a perennial agroforestry system with regenerative potential, while protecting 660 hectares of natural rainforests.

The main operation of the farm will be the production of fine flavor cocoa and native hardwoods. We intend to plant six cocoa varieties to increase crop resilience and variety of flavors.

The farm is split between production land and forest. On the production unit, we are intercropping plantains, pigeon peas, nitrogen fixing trees (madre cacao -Gliricidia sepium) and timber trees (almendro -Dypterix panamensis), all of which are used as shade for the cocoa, but also act as protection against wind and heavy rain, provide sustenance for pollinators and insects, and reduce additional chemical fertilization needs. We are also planting 235 hectares of mixed forest with native hardwoods in the hilly areas that are not suitable for mechanized cocoa production but still have good fertility.

The remaining 660 hectares of the farm are biological corridors of natural rain forests, which have been put aside for wildlife conservation and the provision of ecosystem services. By reforesting pastures through agroforestry, we expect to enhance landscape connectivity and increase wildlife populations on the farm. A recent biodiversity assessment found Ocelots, Margays, Pumas, Peccaries, Agoutis, Coatis, Tayras, Ant eaters, and many different bird and bat species living and making use of our forests.

FARM FACTS

REGION: Colon, in the eastern Caribbean coast

SIZE: 1,455 ha

MANPOWER: 102 in 2019

FARM TYPE: Mixed

COCOA CLONES: CATIE R1, R4, R6, PMCT58, B1 Costa Rica, Criollo - Bocas del Toro

NATIVE HARDWOODS: Almendro - Dypterix panamensis, Zapatero - Hieronyma alchorneoides, Cedro - Cedrela odorata, Mayo - Vochysia ferruginea

RAINFALL: 3,000 mm/year

ALTITUDE: 10-50 m

SOIL: Sedimentary rocks and alluvial deposits

APPROACH: integrated farming

KEY FARMING PRACTICES:

  • Agroforestry

  • Soil monitoring

  • Companion crops

  • Drip irrigation

  • Habitat protection

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Investing in a multicrop and biodiverse agroforestry farm

Finca Chimelb is a magnificent 4,500-hectare farm in Lanquín, Alta Verapaz. Chimelb is the largest cacao farm in Alta Verapaz with 250 hectares of cacao cultivation. Specialty coffee, rubber and cardamom are also grown, and 2,300 hectares of natural forest are protected.

Finca Chimelb will employ approximately 400 workers across all crops on average. As in all 12Tree farms, Chimelb complies with the national laws and pays social security for all employees. Finca Chimelb has an exceptionally diverse clonal garden to evaluate heirloom cacaos and new clones, monitor tree productivity and compatibility, and use these data to increase yields. The farm espouses environmentally friendly cultivation, planting shade crops like rubber trees to control soil erosion, planting cover crops like Brachiaria grass, and reproducing beneficial fungi to naturally restore less fertile areas. As part of the “One by One” program, Finca Chimelb has hosted multiple trainings for local smallholder farmers in collaboration with Operagro CH, and takes its social responsibility seriously in contributing to the Guatemalan cacao industry through a combination of trainings, employment, clonal development, and research into best practices for the local conditions. 

FARM FACTS

REGION: Lanquín, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

SIZE: 4,751 Ha

FARM TYPE: Mixed

COCOA CLONES: CATIE R1, R4, R6, PMCT58, ICS 95, CCN 51, FHIA 706, FHIA 707, CAP 34, Chimelb 11, 13, 14, 15, Theobroma Bicolor, some UF’s

OTHER CROPS: lemon, rubber, coffee, cardamom

RAINFALL: 2,720 mm/year

ALTITUDE: 350 - 1200 masl

SOIL: rocks of sedimentary origin mainly limestone; clayey, acid and deep soils of moderate to low fertility

APPROACH: integrated farming, regenerative and diverse farming

KEY FARMING PRACTICES:

  • Agroforestry

  • Multicrop

  • Habitat protection

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Rehabilitating fine aroma cocoa plantations

Located in the crib of the Arriba flavor, the Guayas basin in Ecuador, these two estates feature 17-year-old National-variety cocoa plantations currently being rehabilitated by 12Tree.

Haciendas Limón and Guantupí are two cocoa farms planted with a National cocoa variety known as “Arriba”, a rare, fine ecuadorian cocoa variety currently threatened by the spread of more productive varieties.

Located in the area of influence of the majestic Cotopaxi volcano, the haciendas are set across 260 hectares of the best possible soils for growing cocoa. Shaped by volcanic activity, soils here are fertile, deep, well-structured, have a high organic matter content, good moisture retention and drainage.

12Tree is rehabilitating this unique plantation threatened by a high incidence of pests and diseases. Investments are being made in corrective pruning, preventive treatment of pests and diseases, a new drip irrigation system, and organic fertilization. And a brand new post-harvesting center is being put in place for the finest cocoa production.

The genetic materials planted in Haciendas Limon and Guantupí were developed by INIAP (National Institute of Agricultural Research). These materials are of the highest possible quality and correspond to the most demanding chocolate makers' criteria. Cocoa beans from Guantupí and Limon are certified Heirloom Cacao and have won international awards, including:

  • Good Food Awards 2018: Winner

  • The International Chocolate Salon 2017: various Bronze and Silver awards

  • Academy of Chocolate 2016: Silver and Gold

  • Academy of Chocolate 2015: Bronze

  • Great Taste Awards 2015: 2 x Gold stars

FARM FACTS

REGION: Quevedo, Cotopaxi, Ecuador

SIZE: 260 Ha

MANPOWER: 24 in 2018, reaching 46 in three years

FARM TYPE: Multi-variety fine flavor cocoa

COCOA VARIETIES: EET-19-103-95-96-48, EETP800 and EETP801, CCN51

RAINFALL: 2,785 mm/year

ALTITUDE: 120 m.a.s.l

SOIL: Fertile, deep, and well-drained Andisols

APPROACH: Organic farming

KEY FARMING PRACTICES:

  • Plant rehabilitation: Corrective pruning and Fertigation

  • Genetic diversity of locally developed and climate adapted cocoa varieties

CERTIFICATION: UTZ-certified by 2021

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Restorative cocoa farming in a coal mining landscape

12Tree is rehabilitating a 400 ha cacao plantation of unique potential in La Jagua de Ibirico, Cesar, in the Caribbean region of Colombia.

Hacienda Maquencal is the largest cacao farm in the Cesar department, spanning over 900 hectares, 200 of which are protected natural and old-growth secondary forest.

In a region that has been heavily impacted by paramilitary and guerrilla groups and open-pit coal mining, Hacienda Maquencal provides a dignified source of employment in an impoverished region. Fair wages, social security, training and education are ensured for all employees and its families.

The rehabilitation of Hacienda Maquencal with climate-smart practices include the composting of cacao pods to use as fertilizer and soil amendment, the rehabilitation of the irrigation system with the latest drip irrigation technology, the construction of a water reservoir that will ensure sufficient water during unusual drought periods, and the construction of a state-of-the-art post-harvesting center.

Additionally, data collection systems are being implemented to monitor daily crop water and nutrient requirements which allow to reduce fertilizer inputs and the water footprint of the crop.

The new post-harvest facility will ultimately allow a faster and more homogenous fermentation and drying process, substantially improving the quality of the cocoa and allowing for direct off take by international buyers.

FARM FACTS

SIZE: 947 ha

MANPOWER: 206

FARM TYPE: Cocoa

COCOA VARIETIES: CCN51, Iquitos acriollados

REGION: Cesar, Colombia

RAINFALL: 1,543 mm/year

ALTITUDE: 130 masl

SOIL: Alluvial deposits from the Cesar river; sandy loam soils low in organic matter content and slightly acidic

APPROACH: Perennial farming

KEY FARMING PRACTICES:

  • Composting

  • Precision agriculture

  • Habitat protection and riparian restoration

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Consolidating a Cocoa cluster for rural development

Rio Lindo was the name given to three geographically separated cocoa farms, which encompass a total land area of 638 hectares, including 407 ha of cocoa planted with CCN-51 variety as well as 119 ha of teak.

The farms are located in a region that is known as the “cocoa cluster” of Ecuador. The fertile soils and the favorable microclimate in this region are key for the high cocoa yields that are being produced in Rio Lindo.

The high-yield farm-cluster uses an intensive model based on a special nutrient mix, intensive pruning, efficient soil management and ongoing rejuvenation of the cocoa trees, with the goal of increasing the lifespan of the crop. Efficient fertigation is a cornerstone to this high productivity, as well as mechanized pruning and harvesting.

12Tree’s sustainability concepts will be applied to increase ecological and social impact, raising the farms’ overall value by delivering sustainably sourced cocoa. Currently, Rio Lindo is preparing to get UTZ certification.

Cocoa is currently being sold wet in the local market. However, to sell dry beans with the efficiency and quality required by the international market, a state-of-the-art post-harvesting center is underway, seeking to achieve the best balance between technification of processes and physical and organoleptic quality of the cocoa beans.

12Tree plans to slowly replace the CCN51 to Nacional Arriba (the leading local fine flavor variety) and other fine flavor varieties.

FARM FACTS

REGION: Quevedo, Ecuador

SIZE: 638 Ha

MANPOWER: 118

FARM TYPE: Cocoa and forestry

COCOA CLONES: CCN51

RAINFALL: mm/year

ALTITUDE: 50 - 155 masl

SOIL: Mostly flat and ondulating slopes

APPROACH: High-yield farming

KEY FARMING PRACTICES:

  • Smart irrigation

  • Precision agriculture

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