Farmer-to-Farmer Cacao Processing Expert

  • Naranjito Canton, Ecuador
  • Employees can work remotely
  • Contract

Company Description

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the primary voice for people who use cooperative businesses to build a better world and a more inclusive economy. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For over 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 85 countries in the areas of food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. We currently work in in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

Job Description

NCBA CLUSA is currently seeking 1- US citizen Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer candidate for the position of Cacao Processing Experts to support Asociación de Trabajadores Agrícolas “Luis Vargas Torres” based in Narajito, Ecuador.

Asociación de Trabajadores Agrícolas “Luis Vargas Torres” currently produces cacao paste in small batches using artisanal methods.  Approximately 10 to 15 kilos of cacao paste is produced monthly.  They want to increase the volume of cacao paste production, enhance its quality, and develop other kinds of products to be sold at the national and international markets.  At this point in time, in addition to the cacao paste, they make cacao honey and cacao jam, but are willing to explore alternatives.  The association has recognized that their members produce enough cacao so that scaling up cacao paste production is feasible and has the flexibility to purchase from additional suppliers, if needed.  The association's objective is to have differentiated products and be highly competitive. 

Duration: 2 weeks March- June 2021


  • Analyze the current cacao paste making process and provide recommendations on quality improvements that coincide with an increase in production.  This is not limited to fermentation, drying, roasting, and grinding.
  • Based on analysis, conduct trainings on how to improve the cocoa paste process taking into account; best post-harvest handling procedures, equipment required to make cocoa paste, procedures, and other topics that the volunteers consider relevant.
  • The volunteers will share knowledge to improve cacao paste production, cacao honey and cacao jam.
  • Based on readily available resources provide suggestions for additional cacao based products that the association may develop to achieve sales goals


  • Exceptional knowledge of cacao production, sensory analysis, cacao fermentation
  • Background in the cacao value chain is a plus.
  • Experience in chocolate manufacturing; to include cacao honey and jam are preferred.  
  • Available for virtual communications with Host Organization, Staff and Co-volunteer
  • US candidate must be legally able to work in the U.S. without sponsorship
  • Advanced English language skills; reading, writing, speaking.

Additional Information

All application materials must be submitted in English.

Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

NCBA CLUSA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity.  All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, and legally protected characteristics for non-merit factors.