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Comparative marketing performance between the Peruvian Cooperatives and the Intermediaries: Acopagro cooperative vs. Intermediaries- a Case Study

  • Communication
  • Law


In the Peruvian jungle, there are two main cocoa marketing channels: the intermediaries and the cooperative. For example, the Acopagro Cooperative, a Peruvian organization, has contributed to the shift from illegal crops like coca to an alternative crop like cocoa which gives small scale farmers a sustainable welfare. Despite the fact that the Acopagro cooperative benefits their members by paying a fair price, supplying technical assistance and credit, many farmers still prefer commercializing their cocoa via the intermediaries. A further analysis of cocoa prices was carried out through personal interviews and a survey made between December 2009 and January 2010, of 243 farmers in Juanjui, San Martin, Peru's main cocoa production area. The outcomes demonstrate that there is not so much difference between the cocoa price that the farmers receive from the Cooperative versus through the intermediaries. The main difference is that Acopagro cooperative divides its surplus income among its members at the end of each fiscal year. These results are consistent with previous analysis1 that proved participant farmers are better paid for their product than non-participants. Moreover, there are significant differences in the agri-marketing functions performed by each marketing channel. Farmers who prefer to commercialize via the intermediaries do not choose this marketing channel mainly due to their desire to be independent in the market or their low cocoa production. Because high economies of scale are required for large volumes of produce, the cooperative should attract small scale farmers who distribute cocoa through intermediaries to become Acopagro members in order to satisfy international market demands.

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