Maria Fernanda Di Giacobbe

María Fernanda has built a whole chain of education, entrepreneurship and economic development around Venezuelan cacao. With Kakao and Cacao de Origen, she supports local producers with the resources they need to improve their product – including production processes, fermentation and marketing – in order to export to master chocolatiers around the world aligned with the Bean to Bar movement (some 60 producers in 18 communities have taken part). She also helps women to become chocolate entrepreneurs themselves, with a training program that focuses on gender equality, competitiveness and fair-trade practices. In collaboration with Simón Bolivar University, Maria founded a Cacao Industry Management program from which 1,500 have already graduated (94% women).

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