Monday 03 October 2022

IDH and Conseil du Café-Cacao launch Cocoaperation

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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative and the Conseil du Café-Cacao started Cocoaperation. Through this new partnership they support the transition of cocoa farming towards a viable business activity for as many as possible cocoa farming families in Côte d’Ivoire. As the world’s largest cocoa producer, Côte d’Ivoire holds nearly one million smallholder cocoa farmers; a quarter of the Ivorian population is directly or indirectly dependent on cocoa for their livelihood and income. Shockingly, only around eight percent of cocoa farmers earn a living income.

Within Cocoaperation, IDH and the Conseil will mobilise cocoa traders, chocolate manufacturers and financial institutions to cooperate and align their activities. By working together cocoa farmers are enabled to make the transition to more profitable and resilient farming activities.

Cocoaperation is part of the IDH Living Income Roadmap and will link cocoa producers and their cooperatives with financial institutions, cocoa traders and other partners in the cocoa value chain. IDH and the Conseil du Café-Cacao aspire to increase the incomes of at least 100,000 cocoa producers before the end of 2025.

They do this by promoting investment in cocoa farms to transform them into more profitable and resilient agricultural businesses.

The provision of credit and other financial services should be aligned with the right input supplies, farm advise and access to reliable markets. Cooperatives have an important role to play as service provider to their farmers and where necessary, partners in Cocoaperation will support their development.

Funding millions

The Conseil and IDH will co-chair a Cocoaperation platform of cocoa sector players. Furthermore, the €2.5 million of IDH co-funding for innovation and scaling will facilitate viable improvements in cocoa farming. In addition, the IDH Farmfit Fund will assist lending organisations in Côte d’Ivoire to reduce risks or costs of credit provision to the cocoa farming sector.

“IDH aims to contribute to a living income for smallholder producers,” says Daan Wensing, CEO of IDH. “We intend to facilitate investments from the private sector and strengthen the support for more profitable and resilient cocoa farming systems. This may not lead to a living income for all cocoa farming households in the coming two to three years, but for the targeted group it will be the way forward towards closing the living income gap.”

Closing the living income gap

With the help of Cocoaperation, at least 100,000 cocoa farming households in different production regions of the country should have reduced the average living income gap from more than fifty percent to less than thirty percent by the end of 2025. “We want to help cocoa farmers make their farms sustainable so they can continue to work independently. Therefore, we not only offer a new perspective to cocoa farmers, but also bring value to the entire cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire,” explains Ms. Mbengone Ayivi , Senior Program Manager of Cocoaperation.

International commitments

The international alliance aimed at increasing incomes is a way to make cocoa farmers stronger. This involves offering technical assistance, investments in sustainable cocoa farm improvements and providing farmers and cooperatives better market terms and conditions. Also, mutual data sharing will contribute to the goal. Mbengone Ayivi: “Collaboration is essential to the success of our mission. Now that we have joined forces, I am convinced that we can achieve our ambition of providing 100,000 families of Ivorian cocoa farmers with more decent incomes. By combining knowledge, expertise, technology and better access to credit, we are looking for sustainable solutions. Together we aim to create the conditions for cocoa farmers to develop their farming business and earn more money.”

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