Farmer-to-Farmer Cacao Paste and Chocolate Expert

  • 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 (either 1- US volunteer willing to travel or 2 volunteers for a hybrid assignment- 1 remote US volunteer and 1- volunteer based in Ecuador) qualified Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer candidates for the position of Cacao and Chocolate Expert to support Federación de Pequeños Exportadores Agropecuarios Orgánicos del Sur de la Amazonia Ecuatoriana (APEOSAE) based in Centinela del Cóndor, Ecuador.

In June 2006, APEOSAE was established followed by the formation of Federación APEOSAE in 2014. Federación APEOSAE is an organization that collects raw material (cacao, parchment coffee, and plantain), transforms, packages and commercializes final products nationally and internationally. Currently, the products traded by the Federation are dried cacao, parchment coffee, peeled plantain, roast and ground coffee, and plantain chips. Federación APEOSAE has organic certifications: BCS ÖKO-GARANTIE, Organic-Ecological-Biological Production, and National Organic Program.

Federación APEOSAE is seeking to increase their market offer, creating new products based on cacao processing. The organization sells dried cacao beans, and now they want to transform this raw material into elaborated final products thus increasing its value. They want to produce cacao paste and sell chocolate bars. Recently, they obtained machines and equipment to create cacao products. They have the resources but do not have the technical knowledge to start the production.

Duration: 2 weeks, January - June 2023


  • Train participants on chocolate formulations while making recommendations on raw material selection and the use of other ingredients.
  • The volunteer will provide advice on the chocolate production process, roasting, refining, and conching, that are adapted to the local consumer market.
  • Teach participants about good practices in the international market, such as the "bean-to-bar" approach.
  • The volunteer can help to identify and create innovative chocolate products.


  • Degree in food science and/or a similar subject is preferred
  • Experienced chocolate maker with knowledge in chocolate formulation and development of new products.
  • Knowledge; in processing cacao beans, manufacturing process of chocolate bars, and bonbons. 
  • Background working with associations in agriculture is a plus.
  • 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.