The Dominican Republic

San Francisco de Marcoris

Growing cocoa in the Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, cocoa production is steeped in a rich history dating back to the Tainos, the island's first inhabitants. The cocoa varieties grown in the region are carefully monitored to prevent productive clones from taking over, thus preserving the distinctive and unique strain of Dominican cocoa, an ancestral heritage.

To support this age-old tradition, we work closely with local cooperatives, offering essential support to small producers. Through this collaboration, we aim to strengthen and empower rural communities, while promoting sustainable agricultural practices that preserve land for future generations through agroforestry.

Cocoa from the Dominican Republic embodies the fusion of tradition and innovation. By supporting small-scale farmers organized into cooperatives, we are helping to shape a future in which cocoa continues to play a central role in the economic and cultural fabric of the northern Dominican Republic.

La culture du cacao en république dominicaine

In 1984, a group of 45 farmers in the San Francisco de Marcoris area decided to form a cooperative so that they themselves could export the cocoa they grow. Thanks in part to help from Germany, the cooperative quickly started exporting its Fairtrade and Organic certified cocoa. 


Since 2017, COOPROAGRO and Valrhona have been working together closely on a long-term basis, the aim being to improve cooperative members’ living conditions. Our collaborative efforts center around producing a high-quality cocoa called Hispaniola. 


2017 Partnership signature

Length of partnership : 10 years

Cooperative Type of organization

3194 Producers

Since 2018 - Agroforestry

Cacao Forest is a pioneering applied R&D project bringing together farmers, companies, researchers, consumers and NGOs to create innovative agricultural models that will improve cocoa quality, increase the productivity of cocoa trees and improve producers' quality of life while protecting the environment. 

The very positive results (a postgraduate course in agroforestry created in Santo Domingo, pilot agroforestry models validated, recipes written based on agricultural products from agroforestry models), have encouraged a replication of the project to be launched in Côte d'Ivoire.


  • In 2023, we signed a contract guaranteeing all the cooperative's beans purchased would be 100% Fairtrade. This marks a new stage in the maturity of the relationship between Valrhona and COOPROAGRO.
  • Funded by Valrhona, the project to map the plots of 243 producers was completed in 2023. It  enabled us to prove that cocoa is produced outside protected areas and has not contributed to deforestation.

2023 - 2024 - Producers' income

To take the partnership further, Valrhona financed an initial study to determine the producers' overall income. 3,194 questionnaires are sent to each producer over 2023-2024. This work will provide a better understanding of our farmers' dependence on cocoa income, and will form the basis for a series of community projects over the next few years.

36 experimental plots

created with 23 producers in the regions of Duarte, San Cristobal and Espaillat

4 innovative models

Agroforestry systems