News & Media
WCF Newsletter January – March 2012
April 1, 2012
The first quarter of 2012 has been busy at the World Cocoa Foundation. In January, we welcomed our 2012 WCF Officers Anne Alonzo of Kraft Foods (Chairwoman), Jeff Morgan of Mars, Inc, (Vice Chair), Nicko Debenham of Armajaro (Vice Chair) and Andy McCormick of The Hershey Company (Secretary/Treasurer). I would also like to congratulate Steve Genzoli of Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and Dimeji Owofemi of Multi-Trex Integrated Foods for being elected representatives to the WCF executive committee. More than ever, we have a strong commitment and leadership within the WCF and thank each of our member companies for their support.
In February, I traveled to Indonesia to attend a cocoa workshop and visit cocoa farming communities in Sulawesi. Over 80 company participants joined the workshop including WCF company members, universities, NGOs and national, provincial and district governments. Our objective of the workshop was twofold: 1) to exchange information and map the locations and scopes of various ongoing cocoa programs in the country, and 2) to introduce a new exciting agricultural development program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with several WCF company members, called AMARTA II. This new program will benefit cocoa farmers on the islands of Sulawesi and Sumatra with improved training and inputs to increase their incomes. The highlight of my visit was a follow on trip to West Sulawesi where we were graciously hosted by the Governor at his home. We then visited several cocoa farmers in the province to see and learn firsthand how projects are helping them to improve their livelihoods.
In March, I traveled to West Africa to meet with our team in Ghana. I always enjoy my visits to Accra and feel welcomed with true Ghanaian hospitality. I am as confident as ever that our programs and initiatives in cocoa-growing communities continue to flourish and grow. The WCF African Cocoa Initiative (WCF/ACI) has officially launched and our team has begun strengthening national partnerships for investing in agriculture and cocoa. Through this program, we will see improved agriculture productivity, expanded trade, increased investment in cocoa, as well as increased food security, which, at the end of the day means more support and better livelihoods for cocoa farmers.
In both our Washington, D.C. and Ghana offices, we have experienced growth and change. Mr. Sona Ebai, who is well known to many of you in the cocoa sector, has taken the helm of the WCF African Cocoa Initiative as Chief of Party and will be based in Lagos, Nigeria. Mr. Tim McCoy joins us in Washington, D.C. as Senior Advisor of Outreach, and will be focusing on outreach to members and partners as well as to U.S. policy officials.
At WCF, we continuously strive to provide value both for our members as well as for cocoa-growing farmers and communities. I am excited to share that we are developing a new tool and resource that will measure progress made across the cocoa sector. This is a joint effort and collaboration with industry members, governments, and international organizations. This new measurement tool will complement existing programs and systems, and we are confident that it will come to serve as an invaluable resource for many of us who share the common goal of achieving sustainable cocoa production. I look forward to sharing more about this at our next Partnership Meeting.
We are looking forward to seeing you at our next WCF Partnership Meeting & Roundtable Sessions – June 13-14, 2012 in Washington, D.C. and also October 24-25, 2012 in Zurich, Switzerland.
PROUD OF OUR MEMBERS
WCF members represent more than 80% of the global cocoa market. Our diverse membership of more than 90 companies is based in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, and includes chocolate manufacturers, processors, traders, supply chain managers, ports, allied industries, and trade associations.
Recent new members to WCF include Fuji Oil Co., Ltd., Theobroma B.V., and Novel Group SA.
Fuji Oil’s Chocolate Division within the Oil & Fats, Processed Foods Company is located in Osaka, Japan. Due to the company’s nationwide network in Japan, it provides consumers with a wide range of products and services. Fuji Oil also has operations and representation in key European, Asian and North and South American markets. For further company details please visit the Fuji Oil site.
Within Amsterdam, Theobroma B.V. has been an independent trader in cocoa products and cocoa beans since 1922. The company also has offices in the U.S., The Russian Federation, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Cameroon. Theobroma started its commercial activity by making direct supplies to the chocolate industry, and over time has expanded to include a range of products including cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, cocoa cake and cocoa powder. For further details on Theobroma B.V. visit www.theobroma.nl.
Novel Group SA was founded in 1999 and is an international soft commodities trading company based in Geneva. The company originally specialized in rice trading, but now has a presence in the sugar, cocoa and coffee, green tea and tomato paste markets. Novel Group SA has commodity trading operations from and to the emerging economies of Asia, Africa and Latin America. For further company details, visit http://www.novelcommodities.ch/index-en.html
For more information on membership, please contact Tim.McCoy@worldcocoa.org.
21ST PARTNERSHIP MEETING & ROUNDTABLE SESSIONS
Please join us for the next World Cocoa Foundation Partnership Meeting on June 13-14, 2012 in Washington, D.C. The conference, entitled “Better Cocoa: Driving Transformation & Measuring Success” will bring together over 200 people representing cocoa producing country governments, U.S. and European governments, industry, research institutes and non-governmental organization from across the globe. Plenary and roundtable sessions will focus on current challenges and solutions in the cocoa sector. To register for this event, please visit www.worldcocoa.org. For further information, please contact Valerie.Beard@worldcocoa.org.
DON’T MISS THE WCF 2ND ANNUAL BENEFIT GALA!
WCF’s 2nd Annual Benefit Gala will be held in Washington, D.C., on June 13, 2012, in conjunction with our 21st Partnership Meeting and Roundtable Sessions. Funds raised from this year’s Gala will be dedicated to improving literacy skills for children in cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The funds will support the acquisition and use of Talking Books, computers for community resource centers, and better internet access in these communities for students and their teachers.
The Gala will take place aboard the Odyssey, a large and spacious Potomac River sightseeing boat that will afford all participants a highly memorable, relaxed setting with beautiful sunset views of landmarks and monuments in Washington, D.C. Fine food and drink, entertainment and, of course, chocolate will accompany the evening’s fun-filled activities.
WCF is inviting a number of VIPs to join us for the evening, including the following:
- Côte d’Ivoire First Lady Dominique Ouattara
- World Food Prize winners President Agyekum Kufuor and David Beckmann
- West Sulawesi Province Governor Anwar Adnan Saleh
- Ambassadors and other diplomatic corps officials from cocoa-producing countries
- Members of the U.S. Congress and their senior staff
- Officials from the Obama administration
This gathering will provide a unique, relaxed occasion for company sponsors to interact with a wide range of influential personalities and decision makers who share our interest in cocoa sustainability. WCF anticipates a total of approximately 300 participants. Individual tickets are $300.00 per person. Corporate sponsorship information is available on request.
WCF LAUNCHES AFRICAN COCOA INITIATIVE
On March 13, WCF, the U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative, and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) officially launched the WCF African Cocoa Initiative (WCF/ACI) in a ceremony co-hosted with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and key African stakeholders in Accra. This Global Development Alliance partnership, supported by Feed the Future through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will improve cocoa farmer incomes, alleviate poverty, strengthen government and regional institutions, and advance food security in the cocoa-producing countries of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria. Over the five-year term, the program will train 100,000 cocoa farmers and support their improved well-being and livelihoods.
The WCF African Cocoa Initiative is a partnership that leverages the resources and talent from public and private sector members as well as key international organizations. Public sector support includes USAID and the four national governments of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria. Private sector funding for this program comes from WCF member companies ADM Cocoa, Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate Company, Cargill, Continaf BV, Ferrero, Guittard Chocolate Company, The Hershey Company, Kraft Foods, Lindt & Sprüngli, Mars, Nestlé, Noble Resources SA, and Olam International Ltd. International organizations include the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Alliance of Cocoa Producing Countries (COPAL). For more information on this program, please contact Sona.Ebai@worldcocoa.org.
WCF SPONSORS LUNCHEON FOR FIRST LADY OF GHANA
On March 9, the World Cocoa Foundation sponsored a luncheon in Washington, D.C., for Ernestina Naadu Mills, the first lady of the Republic of Ghana. The event was held at the National Museum of African Art in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa. Bill Guyton, Tim McCoy, and Aisha Hassan attended the luncheon on behalf of WCF.
Dr. Mills was born in Accra and spent the majority of her career in education as a teacher and administrator. Her own education was supported in part by a scholarship made possible by the cocoa industry. As first lady, she has spoken out on maternal mortality, child health, and education. She has also initiated projects geared towards empowering women and girls and established the Foundation for Child Education Ghana (FCEG), a community-based organization to promote education in deprived, rural and poor communities. Following an introduction by Bill Guyton, Dr. Mills spoke about her dedication to improving the lives of Ghana’s citizens and to further nurturing the relationship between Ghana and the United States. For more information on this event, please contact Tim.McCoy@worldcocoa.org.
COCOALINK PROGRAM REACHES MORE THAN 3,000 FARMERS IN FIRST YEAR
Since March 2011, WCF has worked in partnership with The Hershey Company, The Ghana Cocoa Board and other key partners to deliver valuable information to rural Ghanaian cocoa farmers and their communities via voice and SMS text messages. CocoaLink is an innovative public-private partnership that leverages Ghana’s mobile phone infrastructure and successful WCF education and literacy programs to reach farmers with timely farming, social, and marketing information to improve incomes and livelihoods. Farmers can also share their learnings with, and receive answers to specific cocoa-farming questions from, the SMS system. In its first year, CocoaLink has reached over 3,000 farmers, which exceeds initial goals and expectations. In the coming years, there are plans to expand the program in other regions of the country with the goal of benefitting over 100,000 farmers. If you would like to learn more about CocoaLink and WCF education programs, please contact Charlie.Feezel@worldcocoa.org.
CHALLENGE GRANTS DEADLINE NEARS
WCF awards grants to design and test innovative technologies benefiting cocoa farmers and building the capacity of local farmer services and associations. Grants are awarded to research institutes, universities and farmer organizations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America for work focused on advancing, production efficiency, education, and laborsaving technologies. These grants, awarded through the WCF Cocoa Livelihoods Program (WCF/CLP), empower local groups to develop innovative solutions for the cocoa sector. 2012 Challenge Grant applications will be accepted until May 31, 2012. The theme for 2012 grants is initiatives that foster women’s participation in cocoa farming at the grassroots level, including actions that improve women’s access to resources and income. For more information on Challenge Grants, contact Ethan.Budiansky@worldcocoa.org.
WCF EARNS LIAISON STATUS WITH CEN
In March, WCF and European industry organizations ECA, Caobisco and FCC obtained “liaison status” with the European Standardization Organization (CEN). The status means that WCF and the European organizations will be able to participate in CEN’s process of establishing voluntary standards for traceable and sustainable cocoa. The CEN initiative results from a process started a year ago in which European stakeholders were consulted via national standardization institutes about the necessity of a European standard. Beginning in May, industry, certifiers, civil society and representatives from European and producing countries will work on developing the European voluntary standard. It is expected that it will take about three (3) years before the process will be concluded. WCF through its Brussels office will monitor the process and when appropriate provide contributions from our unique network. For further information on our outreach in the EU, please contact Geert.Waelkens@worldcocoa.org.
FARMER SUCCESS STORY
The WCF Cocoa Livelihoods Program (WCF/CLP) is working with farmer groups in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to link cocoa farmers to much needed inputs for their farms. In 2011, microfinance institution partner Opportunity International pre-financed over $700,000 of input packages including pesticides, fertilizer, and application equipment to over 1,800 farmers in Ghana. In 2012, microfinance partner Oikocredit will expand the input package currently offered to include much needed fertilizers to several thousand farmers supported by WCF/CLP industry partners, including ADM, Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Noble Resources, and Olam. TechnoServe has been a key implementing partner to WCF/CLP since 2009, providing training on safe and proper input application methods and linking cocoa farmers to commercial services and providers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Through this program, we have found that a combined package of proper pesticides, fertilizers, and agronomic training can result in twice the impact on farmers’ yields and cocoa production versus training alone which is critical to ensuring improved livelihoods for cocoa farmers.
Recently, farmer group members in Abengourou, Côte d’Ivoire were asked about the impact of the WCF/CLP training on their farms. Manzan Kacou, the leader of the “Konian” group, was anxious to communicate his success. He proudly described how he had applied the practices taught by WCF/CLP on his two-hectare farm.
When Mr. Kacou pruned his trees earlier this year and removed dead trees and stumps from his farm, his neighbors cried that he was crazy. “You are destroying your farm,” they said, “You shouldn’t listen to the people from Abidjan. We know better. We have known cocoa production techniques since childhood.” But Mr. Kacou stood firm, following the training he had received through the WCF Cocoa Livelihoods Program.
At harvest time, his farm was a beautiful sight. The amount of cocoa he harvested had climbed to 700 kg per hectare, an estimated increase of 100% from previous years. His fellow group members and neighbors were impressed by the appearance and health of his plantation. Today, his group continues their participation in WCF training programs.
Pictured: Mr. Manzan Kacou (front row, first from right) of the “Konian” farmer group in Abengourou.
To read more success stories like this, please visit http://www.worldcocoafoundation.org/what-we-do/success-stories.html. For information on the WCF Cocoa Livelihoods Program, contact Ethan.Budiansky@worldcocoa.org.
WCF INTERN AWARDED TRUMAN SCHOLARSHIP
In late March, former WCF intern, Mike Norton, was selected as a 2012 Truman Scholar. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by the U.S. Congress in 1975 and awards scholarships for college juniors in the U.S. to attend graduate school in preparation for their careers in the public sector. Mr. Norton spent eight weeks with the WCF team in Accra, Ghana, during the months of June and July 2011 and helped to implement the first WCF Cocoa Livelihoods Program (WCF/CLP) Farmer Impact Survey. Mr. Norton commented, “I have no doubt that my experience with WCF/CLP in Accra set me apart from the other Truman Finalists and put me in the position to obtain the Truman Scholarship. Through the internship, I was able to directly see successful poverty eradication programs in action that are building human capital in cocoa growing communities and giving farmers the skills they need to lift themselves out of poverty.”
To be eligible for this prestigious award meant that Mr. Norton was recognized as having outstanding leadership accomplishments, was in the top quarter of his class, and is committed to serving in the government or non-profit sectors. He joins 53 other Truman Scholars who were selected among 587 candidates across U.S. colleges and universities.
Mr. Norton explained that, “Throughout my application and throughout the interview process, the central theme was the significance of building sustainable agricultural systems in both the U.S. and abroad, and eradicating food inequality issues that cause malnutrition on one end of the spectrum and obesity and its accompanying diseases on the other end. These are some of the most critical issues of the day and will become ever more important in the years ahead as resources necessary to sustain our interconnected, global economy become even more scarce. In that sense, my receiving the Truman Scholarship is a confirmation from the Truman Foundation of the importance of sustainable agricultural development in eradicating poverty and of the significance of organizations like the World Cocoa Foundation in ushering in a new era of agriculture.”
For more information, please contact Ethan.Budiansky@worldcocoa.org.
Click here to access WCF Research Update
WCF IN THE NEWS
IDH, January 19, 2012
AllAfrica, January 27, 2012
The Philippine Star, January 28, 2012
Patriot-News, January 30, 2012
Fortune, February 7, 2012
The Diane Rehm Show/NPR, February 7, 2012
USAID Impactblog, February 14, 2012
Voice of America, February 14, 2012
Green Chip Stocks, February 29, 2012
University of Arkansas, February 29, 2012
Daily Graphic, March 10, 2012
Marketwatch, March 13, 2012
Confectionery News, March 14, 2012
Ghana Web, March 16, 2012
Toronto Star, March 24, 2012
UPCOMING WCF EVENTS
WCF/ACI Steering Committee Meeting: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
May 9 – 10
WCF/CLP 7th Steering Committee Meeting: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
WCF Board Meeting: Washington, D.C., USA
WCF 2nd Annual Benefit Gala: Washington, D.C., USA
June 13 – 14
21st WCF Partnership Meeting & Roundtable Sessions: Washington, D.C., USA
WCF-USDA Research Roundtable: Beltsville, Maryland, USA
October 24 – 25
22nd WCF Partnership Meeting & Roundtable Sessions: Zurich, Switzerland
WHAT WE’RE READING
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The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership foundation that promotes a sustainable cocoa economy by providing cocoa farmers with the tools they need to grow more and better cocoa, market it successfully, and make greater profits. These efforts help increase the supply of cocoa and help guarantee chocolate lovers access to their favorite products. WCF’s membership includes cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80% of the global cocoa market. For more information, visit www.worldcocoa.org.