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Support for the implementation of a Responsible Cocoa Program in Ivory Coast

As part of our intervention in Ivory Coast for the French chocolate maker CEMOI, we collaborated to the building and implementation of the responsible cocoa production program "Transparence Cacao". In collaboration with the group's CSR manager and the CEMOI teams in Ivory Coast, we participated in:


  • the drafting of the 5-year strategy and program;

  • the definition of objectives and design of the actions to be implemented;

  • the writing of the standards guidelines and performance indicators;

  • the definition of the 5 years budget.

We also contributed to the selection of technical partners for the implementation of action plans and to the negotiation of the partnership with the Conseil du Café et du Cacao. We participated to the search for projects's funding contributing to  the responsible cocoa program: AFD, GIZ, IDH, Chocolate makers....

Building the responsible cocoa program

The ambition of the Cocoa Transparency program was to induce a transformation of the rural environment. To support the evolution of cocoa producers from a picking stage to that of an agricultural entrepreneur. The program would in parallel, strengthen the capacities of their professional organizations so that they will offer, in addition to the purchase of cocoa beans, other services to their members.


The program had four main objectives:


  • Offering a high quality cocoa to the market, with a reliable traceability and the promotion of the origin label "Cacao de Côte d'Ivoire";

  • The professionalization of cocoa farmers, the improvement of the productivity of cocoa plantations, a higher valorization of the cocoa beans and the emergence of cooperatives as true professional services providers;

  • Improving the livelihoods of the producers and their families through incomes diversification and the creation of income-generating activities for women. This also contributes to children' education;

  • The preservation of natural resources inside and around cocoa plantations, considered essential for the sustainability of cocoa production. Improving orchards' productivity reduces the pressure on forests and helps their preservation.


When it was created, the program aimed to integrate within 5 years: 100 cooperatives and 60,000 producers, to purchase 100,000 tonnes of traced and sustainable cocoa and to launch an Ivorian cocoa label highlighting an aromatic profile.

Definition of action plans and identification of technical partners

The actions of the program started with a double understanding:


  • at producers' level: identification of producers integrating the program and geolocation of their plantations;

  • at coops' level: diagnosis of the initial situation of all cooperatives in terms of their governance, practices, competencies and capacities. Classification of cooperatives according to this "photograph" in three leagues: Start-up, Promising and Professional. This work was carried out with The Forest Trust (TFT, now Earth Worm).


Specific training actions for each of the leagues have been defined to strengthen gradually their competencies and expand the services they offer to their members. They all should progress to the "Professional" class after a three-year journey.

Agreements have been negotiated with Solidaridad, Technoserve and Rabobank for the implementation of training and coaching plans.

Transparence cacao-evolution des services rendus par ls coopératives cacao

Cooperatives are the program's first partners. They had to recruit extension technicians. ANADER was in charge of training and coaching these technicians who afterwards had to train and coach cocoa producers. Three levels of producers have been defined according to the skills they mastered:

  • the "picker" stage which, after the training, should master cocoa good agricultural practices;

  • the "producer" stage, which should integrate agroforestry practices into cocoa technical itinerary. They benefit from a coaching to define and implement a development plan of their orchard with the supply of selected varieties cocoa plants;

  • the "professional" stage, which benefits from management advices and coaching to modernize their exploitations and  diversify their activities.


An agreement had been negotiated with ICRAF, ECOTIERRA and SODEFOR for the dissemination of agroforestry, the establishment of nurseries and the supply of shade tree seedlings.

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