the Minister of Production, Raúl Pérez-Reyes, said that Peru works to meet the standard of the European Union in the acquisition of products derived from cocoa.
With effect from 1 January 2019, the European Union will set a maximum limit for cadmium for products derived from it cocoasuch as chocolate or cocoa powder. This disturbs the government, because more than 50% of the cocoa sales in Peru go to this destination.
The owner of Produce reported that a survey was recently conducted with a sample of 59 products from cocoa, of which 56 were below the cadmium limit that will cross the European block.
He added that the work done is important, although it is a small sample. He said that the Ministry of Health (minsa) is already working on another study into a sample of 1,000 products to identify the beginning of the problem.
"We work in coordination with Digesa to determine the cadmium content in Peruvian cocoa, although we consider that the restriction that the European Union will impose is on the level of chocolate rather than the cocoa bean, "said Raúl Pérez-Reyes.
The minister of production indicated that the cadmium content is higher in the Sierra de Piura and in some specific parts of the San Martín region.
Meanwhile, the problem in Cusco and the central Selva is rather small, he added.
"We have been doing this work for a while, we will stick to the European Union standard and thus ensure that our exports can continue to reach that important destination," he said.
However, Pérez-Reyes has not ruled out that, because of this situation, new destinations for Peruvian cocoa such as the United States and Asia are needed until the problem is completely resolved.
The cadmium content in Peruvian cocoa comes from the earth, that is, it is a geographic problem, according to the Ministry of Production.
Pérez-Reyes reported that studies are being conducted and that some technologies are being developed to prevent the cadmium from being absorbed by the root of the crop and eventually transferred to the fruit.