WCF President Richard Scobey

I am pleased to share with you the 2018 CocoaAction Data Narrative, which explains the results obtained from CocoaAction implementation in 2018.

The CocoaAction strategy is now three years into implementation and remains a reference point for pre-competitive sharing of aggregated historical data and learning in the cocoa sector. CocoaAction companies are implementing a groundbreaking strategy that is successfully building new partnerships among companies, governments, development partners, and civil society organizations to advance a common agenda for cocoa sustainability.

The targets that CocoaAction has set to work towards the achievement of a sustainable and thriving cocoa sector are ambitious. We hope that this narrative will provide data and a range of observations about what we have learned thus far in our goal to reach targets through CocoaAction. The effort needed to achieve these goals is substantial, and we are continuing to look critically at both the successes and challenges of CocoaAction and how we can increase our impact and efficiency in the final year of implementation. In the future, we hope to build on what we have learned through implementing CocoaAction as we develop new strategies and ways of working with multi-stakeholder partnerships. We have made important progress, yet we recognize that there is still much more to do as we strive towards our vision of a cocoa sector where farmers prosper, cocoa-growing communities are empowered, and the environment is conserved.

We encourage open and robust dialogue about the information presented in this packet and look forward to hearing from you.

Richard Scobey

Download Materials

  • 2018 CocoaAction Data Packet
  • 2018 CocoaAction Data Packet Narrative

Introduction to the 2018 CocoaAction Data

The 2018 CocoaAction Data Packet (see tables below) shares results from the implementation of CocoaAction in 2018 compared to 2016 and 2017 results. The focus in this report is on general trends and directional guidance that can be derived from the data.

Productivity Data Key Takeaways

In 2018, CocoaAction companies reached 261,134 farmers (168,283 in Côte d’Ivoire and 92,851 in Ghana) with the productivity package, up from the 179,394 farmers reached in 2017. While the number of farmers reached has increased, the number of farmers adopting the full productivity package continues to be below the CocoaAction target. The original overall target was set at 300,000 farmers adopting all components of the productivity package by 2020. In 2018, over 7,000 farmers adopted the whole package[1]. In both Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the number of farmers adopting the whole package has increased from previous years, but this number is still low.

In Côte d’Ivoire, 24.5% of farmers adopted pruning and at least 3 or more good agricultural practices (GAPs), which has increased from 2017 but is less than 2016 values. In Ghana, 46% of farmers adopted pruning and at least 3 or more GAPs, which has increased significantly since 2017. Farmers using fertilizer on at least 25% of their farms decreased slightly, although in Ghana it increased slightly. Overall, fertilizer use has decreased in 2018 from 2017 levels. The number of farmers who rehabilitated at least 3% of their farms increased slightly in Côte d’Ivoire and is much higher in Ghana than it was in 2017. Average yield, which is self-reported by CocoaAction farmers, remains higher than the country average yet has declined from 2016 and 2017 results. In Côte d’Ivoire the average yield in 2018 was 560 kg/ha and in Ghana the average yield was 546 kg/ha.

[1] A farmer is counted as adopting ‘whole package’ if farmer adopts 4 of 5 GAPs including pruning AND farmer fits in one of the following:

  • In need of rehab and rehabilitates at least 3% of farm and fertilizer ready and applies fertilizer on at least 25% of farm
  • In need of rehab and rehabilitates at least 3% of farm and not fertilizer ready
  • Not in need of rehab and fertilizer ready and applies fertilizer on at least 25% of farm

Productivity Details

In terms of demographics, the average farm size of a CocoaAction farmer has decreased, while cocoa tree age has stayed the same across all tree age group categories. Cocoa tree density has also increased in the 1000 – 1500 category and reduced in the 1500 – 2000 and greater than 2000 categories. For planting material access, the farmers who have access to and received and/or bought improved planting materials is about the same in 2018 compared to 2017. Farmers using improved planting material compared to conventional planting material has increased. However, farmers with access to fertilizer and use of fertilizer has decreased in 2018 compared to 2017.

  • Total number of farmers adopting and 'reached'

  • Productivity results summary

  • GAP Adoption

  • Farm size and yield

  • Cocoa tree age

  • Tree density

  • Planting material access/use

  • Fertilizer access/use

Productivity Observations and Next Steps

Although adoption rates and behavior change continue to be a challenge, in 2018 there was some progress. For most GAPs, adoption rates have increased slightly, with the exception of shade management which reduced slightly. However, absolute numbers of farmers adopting GAPs are still low and this is a key challenge that has yet to be solved. Our experience in CocoaAction shows that behavior change is neither fast nor easy, and education and other forms of training alone will not lead to desired behavior change and widespread adoption of new practices. Increasing our understanding of farmer behavior, including its drivers, barriers, and the tools needed to support farmers to increase adoption remains a crucial next step.

Community Development Data Key Takeaways

In 2018, CocoaAction companies have completed 1,306 community needs assessments, up from 893 in 2017. This number has also already surpassed the CocoaAction total target of 1,200 communities. In Côte d’Ivoire 848 community needs assessments have been completed, and in Ghana 458 have been completed. Within those CocoaAction communities, elements of the community development package[2] are implemented in cooperation with the communities, local governments, and civil society organizations through community action plans. In communities in Côte d’Ivoire, the number of schools with support to their school management committees (SMCs) has gone up, while in Ghana it has decreased. The number of women involved in community organization structures has gone up significantly in 2018, especially in Côte d’Ivoire.

[2] The community development package includes the following areas of intervention: primary education (improvements to existing formal schooling infrastructure, materials and equipment, support for formation and/or strengthening of community-based school management committees) child labor (awareness raising, formation of child protection committees, formation of Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems), and women’s empowerment (gender sensitivity training, support for income generating activities, support for women in farmer and community governance structures).

Child Labor

Through CocoaAction, chocolate and cocoa companies are working together to protect children within their own supply chains. The supply chain focus, as outlined by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, is essential to demonstrating how success can best be achieved. It is where industry has resources and the closest connections to the traders and the farmer cooperatives that supply our cocoa.

CocoaAction companies’ “dual approach” to the problem, reviewed by our partners at the International Cocoa Initiative, aims to identify and respond to reported child labor in the cocoa supply chain while tackling its root causes in communities. Through CocoaAction companies’ implementation of child labor monitoring and remediation systems (CLMRS), farmers and supply chain members are engaged to monitor for and report instances of child labor. By the end of 2018, all the CocoaAction companies were implementing community development activities in their supply chains. However, due to low quality of the data collected, further aggregated details are not included in this report.

Community Development Details

Within the CocoaAction communities, the number of schools supported with school construction and rehabilitation, materials and equipment, school feeding, and school kits have increased in 2018 from those supported in 2017. However, the number of schools supported with teaching materials specifically has gone down, and the total number of schools supported with any type of support has also decreased from 2017. This reflects that, while in 2017 a greater number of schools received teaching materials, in 2018 there was a strong focus on providing larger interventions than in previous years, such as school construction and rehabilitation.

The number of women in CocoaAction communities participating in Income Generating Activities (IGA) activities as increased significantly in 2018 from those participating in 2017. In 2018, in Côte d’Ivoire 8,699 women participated in IGA activities and in Ghana 6,230 women participated in IGA activities. This reflects an increase in focus in 2018 on women’s empowerment activities, with 46% of the women reporting an increase in income and 48% of women participating in community organizations / governance structures in Côte d’Ivoire and 36% of women participating in community organizations / governance structures in Ghana. Moving forward in 2019 and 2020, CocoaAction companies will also build on these activities and learnings through a new commitment in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) in Côte d’Ivoire.

Community Development Observations and Next Steps

The CocoaAction companies continue to make good progress toward the CocoaAction community development targets by engaging with communities in conducting community needs assessments and then working in partnership with those communities to implement elements of the community development package. The companies are continuing to work to accelerate the implementation of activities in these communities.

CocoaAction companies also are carrying out a considerable amount of impactful community development work with other development partners that is not reported through the CocoaAction M&E framework.

  • Summary of community development results

  • Communities with needs assessments

  • Income generating activities

  • School supported

  • Child labor results

WCF Learning Meeting

Through CocoaAction, WCF convened in Accra, Ghana, the first- WCF Learning Meeting. The event, held in July 2018, engaged more than 80 representatives of CocoaAction and other WCF member companies, West African governments, research institutions, non-governmental organizations and development partners in a cross-topic, cross-program, cross-stakeholder view of the greatest learning areas that will allow us to deepen our impact and results for cocoa farmers.

The WCF Learning Meeting facilitated the sharing of farmer-focused learnings, insights, and research gathered in the areas of sustainable livelihoods, community development, agricultural productivity and farmer professionalization, and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E). The aim of the meeting was to, as a group, define a list of key challenges and actions to tackle them, identify specific additional work that needs to be done, and summarize where cocoa sustainability knowledge is in 2018. Some of the key learnings include the need for further knowledge sharing on priority issues like diversification, the need to simplify data and reporting, focus more on impact, the importance of segmentation within communities, building trust as a key element of community development, and working in close partnership with governments. WCF is working to consolidate best practices and learnings identified at the WCF Learning Meeting and to incorporate that across all of WCF’s programs, initiatives, and strategy.

Contact Us

CocoaAction is a learning process, and we encourage you to reach out with questions and feedback. Please contact WCF via email.