Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Regular Articles

Vol. 22 No. 1 (2020)

Protected-Denomination-of-Origin Cocoa Bean: Chain governance and Sustainability Performance

June 22, 2020


The Protected Denominations of Origin in agricultural goods through recognized chains, have a fundamental economic role. In Ecuador, the pdo cocoa bean certification becomes a protagonist since it presents an opportunity to boost the social performance of smallholders. A substantial amount of research focused only on examining the crop performance of pdo products. However, there is a shift in the agricultural chain perspective towards more sustainable models. In this respect, social, economic, and institutional aspects are consequential and tribute to the agricultural sector development. Also, the current rise of market opportunities at the local and international levels is a driver to support them. This study aimed to analyze socio-economic and governance components to understand the pdo Cocoa Arriba (Theobroma cacao) chain sustainability performance and bring forward potential strategies. Principal Components Analysis was introduced to contribute with relevant insights.
The framework applied accounts with a revision of primary and support activities. The investigation clustered pre-production, production, and post-production tiers. Also, it executed the food chain mapping and identification of chain actors. Results stated several viable long-term strategies. Examples of those strategies are the enhancement of national regulation to assist chain actors and the stimulus of young producers and associations empowerment. The main research contribution is the application of governance mechanisms to assess the chain performance comprehensively. Based on the results, our recommendation is to incorporate new indicators to analyze the environmental and institutional components profoundly.


  1. Abbey, P., Tomlinson, P.R. & Branston, J.R. (2016). Perceptions of governance and social capital in Ghana’s cocoa industry. Journal of Rural Studies, 44, 153-163, doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2016.01.015.
  2. Aidoo, R. & Fromm, I. (2015). Willingness to Adopt Certifications and Sustainable Production Methods among Small-Scale Cocoa Farmers in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Journal of Sustainable Development, 8(1), doi: 10.5539/jsd.v8n1p33.
  3. Alemagi, D., Duguma, L., Minang, P.A., Nkeumoe, F., Feudjio, M. & Tchoundjeu, Z. (2015). Intensification of cocoa agroforestry systems as a redd+ strategy in Cameroon: hurdles, motivations, and challenges. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 13(3), 187-203, doi: 10.1080/14735903.2014.940705.
  4. Andres, C. & Bhullar, G.S. (2016). Sustainable intensification of tropical agroecosystems: Need and potentials. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 4(feb), doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2016.00005.
  5. Arevalo, M. (2016). Estado actual sobre el comercio de cacao en América.
  6. Argüello, D., Chavez, E., Lauryssen, F., Vanderschueren, R., Smolders, E. & Montalvo, D. (2019). Soil properties and agronomic factors affecting cadmium concentrations in cacao beans: A nationwide survey in Ecuador. Science of The Total Environment, 649, 120-127, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.292.
  7. Ballou, R. H., Gilbert, S. M. & Mukherjee, A. (2000). New Managerial Challenges from Supply Chain Opportunities. Industrial Marketing Management, 29(1), 7-18. Doi: 10.1016/S0019-8501(99)00107-8.
  8. Banchuen, P., Sadler, I. & Shee, H. (2017). Supply chain collaboration aligns orderwinning strategy with business outcomes, doi: 10.1016/j.iimb.2017.05.001.
  9. Barbier, E.B. (2016). Sustainability and Development. Annual Review of Resource Economics, 8(1), 261-280, doi: 10.1146/annurev-resource-100815-095227.
  10. Belletti, G., Marescotti, A. & Touzard, J.M. (2017). Geographical Indications, Public Goods, and Sustainable Development: The Roles of Actors’ Strategies and Public Policies. World Development, 98, 45-57, doi: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2015.05.004.
  11. Carter, C.R. & Liane Easton, P. (2011). Sustainable supply chain management: evolution and future directions. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 41(1), 46-62, doi: 10.1108/09600031111101420.
  12. Chaparro Africano, A. & Calle Collado, Á. (2017). Peasant economy sustainability in peasant markets, Colombia. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 41(2), 204-225, doi: 10.1080/21683565.2016.1266069.
  13. Collinson, C. & Leon, M. (2000). Economic viability of ethical cocoa trading in Ecuador. In Greenwich Academic Literature Archive. -- Retrieved from
  14. Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals – cscmp. (2010). Supply Chain Management Terms and Glossary. -- Retrieved July 25, 2019, from
  15. Díaz-Montenegro, J., Varela, E. & Gil, J.M. (2018). Livelihood strategies of cacao producers in Ecuador: Effects of national policies to support cacao farmers and specialty cacao landraces. Journal of Rural Studies, 63, 141-156, doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2018.08.004.
  16. Ding, D. & Chen, J. (2008). Coordinating a three level supply chain with flexible return policies. Omega, 36(5), 865-876, doi: 10.1016/J.OMEGA.2006.04.004.
  17. Dotoli, M., Fanti*, M.P., Meloni, C. & Zhou, M.C. (2005). A multi-level approach for network design of integrated supply chains. International Journal of Production Research, 43(20), 4267-4287, doi: 10.1080/00207540500142316.
  18. Ecuadorian Association of Cocoa Exporters – anecacao (2017). Agricultor ecuatoriano logró Denominación de Origen Cacao-Arriba | Anecacao Ecuador. Retrieved August 29, 2019, -- from
  19. Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property – iepi. (2010). Análisis de la primera propuesta normativa de un Consejo Regulador para la Denominación de Origen Cacao Arriba. Retrieved August 29, 2019, -- from
  20. Ecuadorian Standardization Service – inen (2006). nte inen 0176: Cacao en grano. Requisitos. -- Retrieved from
  21. Estupiñán, M. (2018). Análisis de la situación actual de las asociaciones productoras del sector cacaotero en el cantón Rioverde con perspectivas de exportación (Ecuador pucese – Escuela de Comercio Exterior). -- Retrieved from
  22. Food and Agriculture Organization – fao. (2000). Cocoa. -- Retrieved August 28, 2019, from
  23. Fournier, S., Arvis, B. & Michaud, F. (2018). Localized AgriFood Systems dynamics and Geographical Indications as ways to reinforce food systems’ sustainability? Case studies in Mongolia and Peru. -- Retrieved from
  24. Gateau-Rey, L., Tanner, E.V.J., Rapidel, B., Marelli, J.-P. & Royaert, S. (2018). Climate change could threaten cocoa production: Effects of 2015-16 El Niñorelated drought on cocoa agroforests in Bahia, Brazil. PLOS ONE, 13(7), e0200454, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200454.
  25. Gereffi, G., Humphrey, J. & Sturgeon, T. (2005). The governance of global value chains. Review of International Political Economy, 12(1), 78-104, doi: 10.1080/09692290500049805.
  26. Hawkes, C. & Ruel, M. (2011). Value chains for nutrition | IFPRI: International Food Policy Research Institute. -- Retrieved from
  27. Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture – IICA. (2014). IICA. 2014. “Estrategia IICA – Ecuador” 2014-2018. -- Retrieved from
  28. Jolliffe, I.T. (2002). Principal Component Analysis (Second). -- Retrieved from I. Principal Component Analysis (2ed., Springer, 2002)(518s)_MVsa_.pdf.
  29. Koc, T. & Bozdag, E. (2017). Measuring the degree of novelty of innovation based on Porter’s value chain approach. European Journal of Operational Research, 257(2), 559-567, doi: 10.1016/j.ejor.2016.07.049.
  30. Kozicka, M., Tacconi, F. & Horna, D. (2018). Forecasting Cocoa Yields for 2050. -- Retrieved from
  31. Lamine, C., Renting, H., Rossi, A., Wiskerke, J.S.C. & Brunori, G. (2012). Agri-Food systems and territorial development: innovations, new dynamics and changing governance mechanisms. In Farming Systems Research into the 21st Century: The New Dynamic (pp. 229-256), doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4503-2_11.
  32. Lanka, S.V., Khadaroo, I. & Böhm, S. (2017). Agroecology accounting: biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods from the margins. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 30(7), 1592-1613, doi: 10.1108/AAAJ-12-2015-2363.
  33. Macías Barberán, J.R., Cuenca Nevárez, G.J., Intriago Flor, F.G., Caetano, C.M., Menjivar Flores, J.C. & Pacheco Gil, H.A. (2019). Vulnerability to climate change of smallholder cocoa producers in the province of Manabí, Ecuador. Revista Facultad Nacional de Agronomía Medellín, 72(1), 8707-8716, doi: 10.15446/rfnam.v72n1.72564.
  34. Martín-Gómez, A., Aguayo-González, F. & Luque, A. (2019). A holonic framework for managing the sustainable supply chain in emerging economies with smart connected metabolism. -- Retrieved from Elsevier website:
  35. Ministry of Agriculture – mag. (2015). Café – Cacao. -- Retrieved from
  36. Ministry of Agriculture – mag. (2018). Ecuador es el primer exportador de cacao en grano de América – Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería. -- Retrieved from
  37. National Institute of Intellectual Property – iepi (2019). Denominación de Origen – Ecuador. Retrieved August 29, 2019, -- from
  38. Nicita, A., Ognivtsev, V. & Miho, S. (2013). Global Supply Chains: Trade and Economic Policies for Developing Countries Policy Issues in International Trade. Geneve.
  39. Ogus, A. (1992). Regulatory law: Some lessons from the past. Legal Studies, 12, 1-19.
  40. Ogus, A. (1994). Regulation: Legal form and economic theory. In Oxford: Clarendon.
  41. Petithuguenin, P. & Roche, G. (1995). Ecuador: the cocoa sector, results and prospects. Plantations, Recherche, Developpement, 2(4), 15-26. -- Retrieved from
  42. Pino, S., Aguilar, H. & Sisalema, L. (2018). The Denomination of origin for cocoa arriba. In search of the Holy Grail. Espacios, 39(16), 1-15. -- Retrieved from
  43. Portalanza, D., Barral, M.P., Villa-Cox, G., Ferreira-Estafanous, S., Herrera, P., Durigon, A. & Ferraz, S. (2019). Mapping ecosystem services in a rural landscape dominated by cacao crop: A case study for Los Rios province, Ecuador. Ecological Indicators, 107, 105593, doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.105593.
  44. Porter, M., Sachs, J. & McArthur, J. (2002). Competitiveness and stages of economic development.
  45. Pustjens, A.M., Muilwijk, M., Weesepoel, Y. & van Ruth, S.M. (2016). Advances in Authenticity Testing of Geographical Origin of Food Products. Advances in Food Authenticity Testing, 339-367, doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-100220-9.00013-8.
  46. Ruiz, K., Biondi, S., Oses, R., Acuña-Rodríguez, I., Antognoni, F., Martinez-Mosqueira, E., … Jacobsen, S.E. (2014). Quinoa biodiversity and sustainability for food security under climate change. A review. Agron. Sustain. Dev, 34(2), 349-359, doi: 10.1007/s13593-013-0195-0ï.
  47. Rusconi, M. & Conti, A. (2010). Theobroma cacao L., the Food of the Gods: A scientific approach beyond myths and claims. Pharmacological Research, 61(1), 5-13, doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2009.08.008.
  48. Salmoral, G., Willaarts, B.A., Garrido, A. & Guse, B. (2017). Fostering integrated land and water management approaches: Evaluating the water footprint of a Mediterranean basin under different agricultural land use scenarios. Land Use Policy, 61, 24-39, doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2016.09.027.
  49. Scherer, F. & Ross, D. (1990). Industrial Market Structure and Economic Performance. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s.
  50. Sepúlveda, W.S., Ureta, I., Mendoza, C. & Chekmam, L. (2018). Ecuadorian Farmers Facing Coffee and Cocoa Production Quality Labels. Journal of International Food & Agribusiness Marketing, 30(3), 276-290, doi: 10.1080/08974438.2017.1413612.
  51. Shleifer, A. (2005). Understanding Regulation. European Financial Management, 11(4), 439-451.
  52. Smetana, S., Mathys, A., Palanisamy, M. & Heinz, V. (2016). Journal of cleaner production. Journal of cleaner production. -- Retrieved from Elsevier Science Ltd website:
  53. Stoorvogel, J.J., Antle, J.M., Crissman, C.C. & Bowen, W. (2004). The tradeoff analysis model: Integrated bio-physical and economic modeling of agricultural production systems. Agricultural Systems, 80(1), 43-66, doi: 10.1016/j.agsy.2003.06.002.
  54. Sukhatme, P. (1954). Sampling Theory of Surveys, with Applications. New Dheli: Indian Society of Agricultural Statistics.
  55. Ton, G., Hagelaars, G., Laven, A. & Vellema, S. (2008). Chain Governance, Sector Policies and Economic Sustainability in Cocoa: A Comparative Analysis of Ghana, Côte D’Ivoire, and Ecuador. ssrn Electronic Journal, doi: 10.2139/ssrn.1609686.
  56. Tuesta, O., Santistevan, M., Borjas, R., Castro, V. & Julca, A. (2017). Sustainability of cacao farms in the district of Huicungo (San Martín, Perú) with the “rapid agroecological method”. Peruvian Journal of Agronomy, 1(1), 8, doi: 10.21704/pja.v1i1.1062.
  57. Viteri Salazar, O., Ramos-Martín, J. & Lomas, P.L. (2018). Livelihood sustainability assessment of coffee and cocoa producers in the Amazon region of Ecuador using household types. Journal of Rural Studies, 62, 1-9, doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2018.06.004.
  58. World Commission on Environment and Development – wced (1987). Our Common Future. -- Retrieved from wced 1987 Brundtland Report.pdf.
  59. Yakovleva, N. (2007). Measuring the sustainability of the food supply chain: A case study of the UK. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, 9(1), 75-100, doi: 10.1080/15239080701255005.


Metrics Loading ...