Over the past few months, I’ve been especially proud of the work done by our member companies, our partners, and staff in putting a spotlight on cocoa sustainability. In June, WCF hosted more than 300 guests in Washington, D.C., for our 21st WCF Partnership Meeting & Roundtable Sessions in conjunction with our second annual gala benefit and reception, which raised more than $45,000 that will be used to support WCF activities. In July, we were honored to sign an agreement with Côte d’Ivoire First Lady Dominique Ouattara to benefit cocoa farmers and their families in Côte d’Ivoire. And in May, we announced a $4 million initiative at the G8 2012 Summit’s Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security to benefit 35,000 West African cocoa farmers. While these major developments grabbed headlines, we were busy further developing CocoaMAP and we continued to see progress in our field programs. The addition of several new WCF members is always good news and staff additions significantly strengthened our teams in Washington and Accra.
Looking ahead, I plan to travel to Indonesia in September, where I will meet with government officials and partners to discuss expansion of programs in Sulawesi and Sumatra. The development of CocoaMAP will be well underway and we will have exciting news to report by November — read more about this in our next issue! The 22nd WCF Partnership Meeting & Roundtable Sessions will be held in Zurich, Switzerland, on October 24-25, where we’ll focus on innovations in the cocoa sector as well as interesting developments in the European policy space. In the next few months, we also plan to officially announce the launch of a new development fund for Côte d’Ivoire that will help strengthen cocoa communities and farmer organizations; women and children in cocoa-growing regions; and cocoa scientists.
I look forward to seeing you in Zurich this October.
WCF AND FIRST LADY OF COTE D’IVOIRE PARTNER TO IMPROVE COCOA COMMUNITIES
On July 19, WCF and the office of Dominique Ouattara, first lady of Côte d’Ivoire, announced an agreement to develop and implement educational and vocational training programs to benefit cocoa farmers and their families in Côte d’Ivoire. The three-year agreement is valued at $3.6 million and will benefit more than 12,000 Ivorians through successful WCF educational programs that are active in the country and in other West African countries. The agreement was signed in a ceremony in at the Ivorian Embassy in Washington, D.C., by First Lady Dominique Ouattara and WCF President Bill Guyton. The collaboration expands access to quality universal basic education; develops human resources through vocational training for youth and women; and mobilizes communities, district assemblies, the cocoa industry and others to work together to address development challenges in cocoa communities.
First Lady Dominique Ouattara was quoted as saying, “The place for children is in schools. Working in partnership with the World Cocoa Foundation, we will be better able to insure a brighter future for our children, by allowing them to take their places on school benches instead of on cocoa farms. The World Cocoa Foundation is the symbol of social development promotion in cocoa growing communities, and I welcome the signature of this Memorandum of Understanding, which will enable us to harmonize and coordinate our respective programs to fight against child exploitation in cocoa production.”
First Lady Ouattara was presented with an award by WCF for her leadership and her commitment to African women and children. She serves as chairwoman of the Ivorian government’s recently created National Oversight Committee, which is responsible for reviewing actions to combat child labor and trafficking, including in the cocoa sector. She is also the founder and chairwoman of the Children of Africa Foundation.
Many experts agree that an important indicator of decreased child labor is increased school attendance by children. WCF’s programs respond to this by supporting schools and education programs in cocoa-growing communities. The World Cocoa Foundation’s partnership with the Ivorian government builds upon other WCF to improve livelihoods in cocoa farming communities, such as the Memorandum of Understanding signed in October 2011 with Ghana’s Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare.
COCOA SECTOR LEADERS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE CONVENE AT JUNE PARTNERSHIP MEETING
The WCF 21stPartnership Meeting & Roundtable Sessions were held June 13-14 in Washington, D.C. More than 300 guests from the cocoa industry, governments, NGOs, academia, and research institutes from 28 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe, convened to address some of the most pressing issues in cocoa sustainability.
The Partnership Meeting & Roundtable Sessions are the largest of the events the World Cocoa Foundation holds each year to advance cocoa sustainability understanding, collaboration and programs. The two-day meeting featured sessions including Conserving Cocoa Genetic Resources, Cocoa and Climate Change, the Role of Public-Private Partnerships in Feed the Future, Cocoa Sector Restructuring in Côte d’Ivoire, and Addressing Child Labor.
Sponsors for the Partnership Meeting included: Armajaro Trading, Ltd.; General Cocoa; Kraft Foods; Olam International; and Transmar Commodity Group.
WCF was honored to have noted guests and speakers such as Jeannot Ahoussou Kouadio, Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire; Bharat Puri, Vice President, Global Chocolate Category, Kraft Foods; Anwar Adnan Saleh, Governor of West Sulawesi Province, Indonesia; Catherine Woteki, Undersecretary for Research, Extension and Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Massandjé Touré-Litse, Director General of Côte d’Ivoire’s Conseil du Café Cacao (CCC); J.P. Bilbrey, CEO of The Hershey Company; Moses Asaga, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Ghana; and Gilbert Kafana Koné, Minister of State, Minister of Employment, Côte d’Ivoire.
Anthony Fofie, Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), received recognition and an award for his contributions to, and support of, a sustainable cocoa economy. WCF continues to have a strong partnership with COCOBOD in helping cocoa farmers throughout Ghana.
WCF hosted its 2ndAnnual Gala Benefit Reception and Dinner aboard the Odyssey Potomac River cruise ship on the evening of June 13. Funds raised from this year’s Gala, which attracted more than 250 guests, will help provide improved literacy skills for children in cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria through IT-based solutions. Sponsors for the Gala were Kraft Foods, The Hershey Company, Mars Incorporated, and Multi-Trex Integrated Foods. Chocolove and The Fine Chocolate Industry Association also provided support for the event. World Food Prize laureates David Beckmann and former President of Ghana John Agyekum Kufuor also attended and were recognized for their contributions to sustainable agriculture and food security.
The next WCF Partnership Meeting & Roundtable Sessions will be held in Zurich, Switzerland, October 24-25, 2012.
Ivorian Scientist Reflects on Cocoa Borlaug Fellowship
by Dr. Louis K. Koko*
Finding the proper soil nutrient balance on old cocoa farms is a challenge for cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire who wish to plant new trees. How do these farmers successfully replant cacao on acidic and phosphorus-fixing soils after long term use? An alternative and sustainable practice is the application of organic matter or mixed-organic amendment and phosphate fertilizer to increase phosphorus availability and reduce toxicity.
After having been chosen as the first-ever Ivorian USDA/WCF Cocoa Borlaug Fellow, I was given a unique opportunity to further my research by analyzing available soil phosphorus (P) and soil-cocoa seedlings P balances and to determine P value of compost made from cocoa pod husks, leaves and other organic materials.
My host institution was the United States Department for Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service’s Agricultural Research Center, located in Beltsville, Maryland, where Dr. Patricia D. Millner served as my mentor. She also introduced me to Dr. Thanh Dao, an internationally-recognized soil scientist. Working closely with these scientists, I learned that cacao replanting on acid and P-fixing soils is possible with application of mixed organic amendments and phosphate fertilizers. These results are related to the improvement of the soil P status, opening the door for many cocoa farmers to replant their old cocoa farms successfully.
When I return to Côte d’Ivoire and visit the cocoa farmers’ field school, I plan to demonstrate the effectiveness of organic amendments on soil fertility and cocoa productivity by carrying out participatory small scale tests. By improving cocoa replanting on acid and P-fixing soils, my cocoa research will contribute to maintaining my country’s status as the world’s leading producer of cocoa (40% of world volume production).
The USDA/WCF Cocoa Borlaug Fellowship was an exceptional opportunity to improve my scientific abilities. While it was a great honor for me to be selected as the first Cocoa Borlaug Fellow from Côte d’Ivoire, my participation in many specials events, such as the 66th PMCA conference, WCF’s 21st Partnership Meeting and Roundtable Sessions and visits to WCF member companies ADM, Camden International Commodities Terminal, Cargill, The Hershey Company and Mars, Incorporated, were exceptional and privileged moments. Through these experiences, I greatly increased my understanding of the cocoa supply chain and met key members of the chocolate and cocoa industry.
*Dr. Louis K. Koko is a soil scientist at the National Agronomic Research Center, based in Divo, Côte d’Ivoire. He was in the U.S. as a Cocoa Borlaug Fellow from April to July 2012. The Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program-Global Cocoa Initiative is co-funded and implemented by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and WCF.
European Parliament Mulls Child Labor Issue in Public Procurements
by Geert Waelkens*
In response to increasing pressure from advocacy groups, the European Parliament is currently considering draft legislation on public procurement. This is a complex piece of legislation that is essential to the functioning of the EU’s internal market but also a tool for stimulating sustainable development by public buyers.
The draft legislation is being debated in the European Parliament, with the rapporteur, Marc Tarabella, a Belgian Socialist, proposing in the Internal Market Committee an amendment in relation to child labor. The amendment was offered under Article 55’s ‘Exclusion Grounds’, which deals with the exclusion of tenderers from participation in a public contract. Tarabella’s proposed amendment reads as follows:
“ (ea) participation in exploitation of human trafficking and child labor covered by Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims ”
If adopted, this could set a precedent for other actions and concerns exist that fierce lobbying would take place between products that claim to be child-labor free and other products that have been deemed to have content that was derived from the use of child labor.
The Tarabella proposal will be voted on in committee on October 5, 2012. A vote in plenary session is expected no earlier than December.
*Geert Waelkens is a Brussels-based consultant to WCF. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
PROMOTING INDUSTRY-LED DEVELOPMENT THROUGH MATCHING GRANTS
The WCF Cocoa Livelihoods Program (WCF CLP) will soon award additional Matching Grants to support industry-driven cocoa projects that improve the livelihoods of smallholder cocoa farmers in West Africa. Since 2011, these grants have increased the capacity of the cocoa and chocolate industry to lead development. WCF sees advancing the industry role in rural development as a key to improving food security and sustainability around the world.
WCF CLP is working to double the income of approximately 200,000 smallholder, cocoa-growing households in West and Central Africa. The program increases farmer income while strengthening local service capacity, through three main objectives: 1) improving market efficiency and building capacity of farmers and farmer organizations; 2) improving production and quality of cocoa at the farm level; and 3) improving farmers’ competitiveness on diversified farms. Key activities include: professionalizing farmer organizations; training farmers in improved cocoa production practices; increasing farmer access to inputs and improved planting material; providing financing mechanisms for improved access to credit; conducting farmer business skills training; and establishing business service centers.
The Matching Grants program supports many WCF CLP goals by improving the livelihoods of cocoa-farming households; promoting innovation that is scalable; allowing for experimentation with different extension models; instilling private sector discipline in WCF CLP activities, while leveraging company contributors’ field experience; and expanding the reach of WCF CLP to additional farmers and farmer organizations.
To date, seven of the 16 industry partners involved in WCF CLP are implementing Matching Grant supported projects in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, and Nigeria. In two cases, industry partners are collaborating to achieve the project objectives. Matching Grant projects have already reached thousands of farmers and some partners have applied for additional funding to expand their projects to even more farmers in new areas. WCF CLP is dedicated to providing continued support to its industry partners to ensure the success of their Matching Grant projects. By engaging industry partners with the Matching Grant Program, WCF CLP is advancing sustainable development in the cocoa sector and improving the livelihoods of thousands of cocoa families.
ADDRESSING A MAJOR INSECT PEST IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION
Cocoa pod borer is a major insect pest impacting cocoa production in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. It is found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and The Philippines. The moth lays her eggs on the surface of cocoa pods and the larvae bore into the pod to feed on the pulp inside. This impacts the development of the cocoa beans inside the pod – they can fail to develop properly or be of lower quality.
Effectively controlling this pest is a major issue for the region’s cocoa farmers. Some of the current control methods include cultural practices (such as frequent harvesting), pod sleeving (covering pods with plastic sleeves) and rational and safe use of agrochemicals. The challenge is to find control methods that are effective, affordable, environmentally sound, and readily adopted by farmers.
WCF is supporting a number of research efforts to address this poorly understood pest. In the laboratory, researchers at the University of Southern Mindanao (The Philippines) are working to develop an artificial diet for cocoa pod borer. If successful, this will allow for mass rearing of the insect in a laboratory setting which will allow for further research on insect behavior and control methods. In Indonesia, researchers at the Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute are developing a “biocoater” spray made with natural ingredients as a possible control. The project is beginning its second year of field trials. Lastly, WCF is supporting a regional hybrid trial that, among other factors, is looking to identify varieties of cocoa that are high yielding despite the presence of cocoa pod borer.
CASA LUKER 50th ANNIVERSARY EVENT
CasaLuker is a family-owned enterprise founded more than 100 years ago, in 1906, in the small Colombian city of Manizales. Luker’s commitment is to offer to the customers the best chocolate made with top quality “Fino de Aroma” cocoa. To do this, 50 years ago, in 1962, CasaLuker founded La Granja Luker (Luker Farm), currently one of the few cocoa research centres in the world. The staff at the centre work to modernize production technology and conservation techniques for “Cacao Fino de Aroma” in order to ensure benefits for the farmers who rely on the crop as their livelihood and to guarantee the best quality for CasaLuker’s end consumers.
WCF IN THE NEWS
WORLD COCOA FOUNDATION HONOURS COCOBOD BOSS
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) has honored Mr Anthony Fofie, Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), for his immense contribution towards cocoa sustainability in Ghana
He received the award at the 21st World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) Partnership Meeting and Roundtable Sessions held in Washington, DC, where he spoke on the topic, “The Role of Public Private Partnership in Feed the Future.”
In many respects, cocoa farming has changed little in the past 100 years. This is due in part to the need for better methods of transferring new technologies and information to farmers, as well as the need for further research on key areas such as genetics, insect pests, and diseases. WCF addresses both of these needs through research and farmer-oriented regional programming:
UPCOMING WCF EVENTS
26: WCF WCF-USDA Roundtable Beltsville, MD
4: Joint CAOBISCO/ECA/FCC/WCF Sustainability & CSR Meeting Brussels, Belgium
23: WCF Board Meeting Zurich, Switzerland
24-25: WCF 22nd Partnership Meeting and Roundtable Sessions Zurich, Switzerland
12: WCF-USDA Roundtable TBD
4: WCF Board Meeting Washington, DC
5-6: WCF 23rd Partnership Meeting and Roundtable Sessions Washington, DC
15: WCF Board Meeting Dominican Republic
16-17: WCF 24th Partnership Meeting and Roundtable Sessions Dominican Republic
WCF welcomes new members E.T. Browne, Indcresa, and Sucres et Denrées. In 2012, WCF has welcomed 5 new staff members, including Tim McCoy, Senior Advisor for Outreach (Washington); Michael Cullen, Senior Program Director (Washington); Akua Amoah-Boateng, Finance Manager (WCF/ACI – Accra); Takyi Sraha, Technical Advisor (WCF/ACI – Accra); Esi Amoah, Administrative Assistant (WCF/ACI – Accra), and Nene Akwetey-Kodjo, Project Coordinator (WCF/ACI – Accra).
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.