Jordi Roca, impressed with the work of Óscar Velásquez, entrepreneur of BBVAMF

Óscar Velásquez has spent all his life in cocoa production as an alternative crop that is both healthy and ecological. He inherited all his knowhow in cocoa farming from his father- knowledge that he doesn’t hesitate sharing with other farmers so they could recover the native varieties of this fruit.

Jordi Roca, one of the best pastry chefs in the world and architect of the sweet-toothed part of the restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, didn’t want to miss the opportunity to meet this Peruvian entrepreneur. One year ago, he and his brothers were impressed with the determination and the eagerness to excel shown by the entrepreneurs supported by the BBVAMF. This was in Chile, during the BBVA gastronomic tour, when they presented the book “Emprendimiento a la carta” (Entrepreneurship à la carte) which contains the best recipes of men and women served by Fondo Esperanza.

Once more, the youngest of the Roca brothers- now immersed in search of the best cocoa in the world– was able to take a closer look at the work of the Foundation, this time, in Peru. Óscar’s work, with the guidance of Financiera Confianza, is undoubtedly a source of inspiration and learning for such a sweet task.

Jordi Roca, taking notes about cocoa production

With the support of Financiera Confianza, Óscar Velásquez makes it possible for cacao groves to substitute vast rice paddies, a few trees at a time. The latter crop needs more insecticides and consumes a lot of water. “Cocoa is less demanding and more profitable because there’s no need for insecticides. And given that rice fields are on flat grounds and flood-prone, one could plant more trees and water them easily”, Óscar recounts, sharing this information with the famous pastry chef from Gerona.

Jordi Roca takes notes of all that he sees and hears, impressed in getting to know firsthand how cocoa could change the lives of so many. Herly Oblitas, a credit officer from Financiera Confianza, proudly shares how his longtime client Óscar, is getting nearer to reaching his dream: to walk once again along the valleys of his region, this time converted into immense cocoa groves just as they were decades before.