Gianina, chocolate entrepreneur

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Meet Gianina Flores, a chocolate entrepreneur from Ucayali. She learned how to make artisan chocolate with her grandmother and later, with the support of USAID and the Peru Cacao Alliance, perfected her art of producing high-quality chocolates. Gianina works with cacao producers and has developed a business model that gives prominence to the producer. She now has a processing plant that supports the UKAW brand and a chocolate boutique. She has received international awards for the quality of her product and the origin of its cacao beans. Her dream is to continue growing, opening stores in NY and Paris. As Gianina says "we must encourage the relationship between producers and consumers."

Video Transcript 
I am from Atalaya, a beautiful town in Ucayali. My grandmother taught me how to make chocolate in a traditional way. Chocolate has always been my passion. Even my thesis is focused on it. But it was observed, because before there were no cacao beans in quantity or quality, there was no investment opportunity either. But I was not discouraged, and I took a chocolate course abroad. Back in Peru, with the Cacao Alliance, I began to offer workshops for farmers, who saw in cacao an alternative to the cultivation of coca leaf. At the same time they taught me the beautiful experience of origin. I rediscovered the beauty of a freshly opened cacao pod. The happy face of who shares it. The delicious sweet and sour taste of mucilage. I realized the enormous effort to carry out a production. At that time, I understood that a new model of chocolate was needed, which would give prominence to the producer. I started my own business to share the development of chocolate. With a lot of effort, I have a processing plant that supports a brand, and a chocolate boutique that allows me to share experiences and products. My dream is to open in New York and Paris, I think I'm on the right track. I already have awards in those cities, they awarded the product and the origin of the cacao beans. It was a shared success and I celebrated with the peoples. I always try to make my story inspire others. I just opened a chocolate boutique in Lima, the capital of my country. My development was possible thanks to the important support that USAID does to increase the production and quality of the cacao beans. USAID THROUGH THE PERU CACAO ALLIANCE IS SUPPORTING 24 THOUSAND FAMILIES, TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY OF CACAO CROPS, INCREASING THE VALUE OF THE PRODUCT AND ALLOWING THEM TO OBTAIN GREATER INCOME. Cacao has become a symbol of the Amazon, of hope, change and well-being. Just as chocolatiers with our talent give a special flavor to chocolate, in the same way farmers, with their dedication, give unique characteristics to the cacao beans. We must encourage the relationship between producers and consumers.

Last updated: June 22, 2022

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