United Cacao Limited SEZC
United Cacao Limited SEZC (UCL) is the only publicly listed pure-play cacao producer globally and currently the only publicly listed tropical plantation company in Latin America. UCL is an exempted company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, registered as a special economic zone company and licensed by the Special Economic Zone Authority of the Cayman Islands. UCL is the holding company for Cacao del Peru Norte SAC (“CDPN”), the Company’s wholly owned Peruvian operating subsidiary. The Company, via CDPN, owns approximately 3,524 hectares of freehold agriculture land near the city of Iquitos, the state capital of Loreto, Peru’s northern state. The land is being developed as plantations for the production of cocoa (primarily) and hardwood (a small amount of plantain has been grown also as a shade crop in the first orchards).
The plantations are circa 15 minutes by road from the riverside town of Tamshiyacu with a population of approximately 5,000. From Iquitos, with a population of circa 450,000, the plantations are about 30 minutes by speedboat on the Amazon River. Iquitos itself is serviced by three airlines flying to and from Lima throughout the day.
The company began the development of the proposed 3,250 ha cocoa plantation in 1H 2013. By end April 2015 some 1,062 ha had been planted and UCL is expecting to have 2,000 hectare planted by the end of the year. The remaining plantable area is scheduled to be fully planted during Q4 2016. The company currently employs over 488 people in addition to hosting a number of third party contractors on site.
The UCL nurseries reflect the input of Oscar Grandez, Estate Operations Manager(former head of the Romero Group cacao estates in the neighbouring state of San Martin).
UCL reports that ‘the apile’ (felled vegetation) has pushed into piles so that vegetation growing out of these piles provides extra shade for the young cocoa saplings.
UCL aspires to become one of the largest growers of high quality, fully traceable cocoa beans in Latin America.