Co-op Name: COCABO
Number of Producers: 1,500
Source for: 80g Panama Bar
Last visit: 2008
Interesting Fact: Founded in 1952, it is the oldest cooperative in Panama.
Full Profile: COCABO (Cacao Co-operative of Bocatoreña) is an organization of 1,500 small-scale cacao farmers, mostly of the Naso and Ngöbe peoples, in the Bocas del Toro province of Panama. Along with marketing cacao and implementing Fair Trade projects in local communities, the co-operative supports its members through technical assistance to increase crop yields and quality. The organization has diversified its business through sales of bananas and pineapples, ownership of five hardware stores and the operation of a saw mill. Located on the outskirts of the Amistad Forest Reserve, COCABO offers crucial support for economic and community development through alternatives to traditional economic activities that have often led to deforestation in this critical habitat.