Learn about the 2030 Systemic Cocoa Chain Project, one of the top priority initiatives for Vale’s 2030 Forest Goal 

March 26, which is National Cocoa Day in Brazil, coincided with a challenging moment in the global market for this commodity. Prices reached an all-time high, having tripled in just one year. In New York, on the same day, cocoa surpassed the US$10,000 per ton mark for the first time. According to experts, this happened after intense heat and rains devastated crops in West Africa, the world’s main producer. 

In the context of the climate crisis, the market’s tendency to look for sustainable, traceable and high-quality products is growing ever stronger. These are Fundo Vale’s objectives in supporting the strengthening of the cocoa chain, besides contributing to Vale’s 2030 Forest Goal, which aims to voluntarily restore 100,000 hectares of habitat and protect 400,000 hectares. 

“To support the sector’s sustainable growth, Fundo Vale is promoting and investing in agroforestry impact businesses whose main product is cocoa, and it is also helping strengthen the cocoa production chain through partnerships, training, the creation of knowledge products, scientific research, technical assistance and rural extension activities. The idea is to promote sustainability and decent work in the cocoa chain. These are fundamental actions as we seek to leverage positive social and environmental impacts in alignment with our 2030 Theory of Change,” explains Bia Marchiori, who is responsible for the technical, knowledge and social and environmental safeguards elements of Vale’s 2030 Forest Goal. 

The 2030 Systemic Cocoa Chain Project was designed in collaboration with CocoaAction Brasil and its partners, which established a set of guidelines with the aim of improving living and working conditions in the cocoa production chain. As well as working with CocoaAction Brasil, the project is supported by the Institute for Forest and Agricultural Management and Certification (Imaflora), the sustainable development branch of the Vale Institute of Technology, which is conducting research into the chain, and other organizations. 


Fundo Vale’s measures to promote the cocoa production chain ecosystem and its investment in businesses with a positive social and environmental impact may help Belterra, an impact startup, to become one of the largest producers of this commodity in Brazil, while aiding the restoration of areas in the Amazon Rainforest, Atlantic Forest and Cerrado Savanna biomes. 

Since the start of the partnership, the startup has recovered almost 3,000 hectares of habitat by implementing agroforestry and silvopastoral systems. The company’s goal is to produce cocoa on 40,000 hectares of restored land by 2030, which could give it market leadership. To this end, it is setting up the biggest cocoa and native forest species nursery in Brazil, with the capacity to produce 10 million seedlings. 

Belterra is an example of Fundo Vale’s strategy of catalyzing investments in impact businesses in a sustainable value chain. The initiative seeks to accelerate the development and growth of startups focused on the bioeconomy, which value partnerships with local farmers. As well as growing crops while restoring habitat, the company supports awareness-raising initiatives aimed at ensuring decent working conditions and it invests in research, innovation and knowledge sharing regarding agroforestry system-based production models.