Cocoa OPEC Now Set to Admit New Members

Nigeria and Cameroon already knocking

The Cote d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGCI) has adopted new guidelines signalling its readiness to admit new members to the organisation initiated to advance the interests of cocoa farmers.

The Board of CIGCI, made up of the world’s top two cocoa producer nations, approved the guidelines for the accession of new members at its Steering Committee meeting held in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan.

Formidable force

The initiative, described as the OPEC of Cocoa, aims to unite all cocoa-producing countries under a common voice to demand fair trade and living income for millions of cocoa farmers who earn less than a dollar per day.

Last year, Nigeria and Cameroon initiated processes to join the young organisation, which has tasted success in securing the $400/tonne price mechanism to tackle poverty

“We are in our third year, and with other countries expressing interest in joining the Initiative, we have had to create a framework for that to happen. Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire control 60% of the world’s cocoa supply, and we’re hoping that with other producing countries coming on board, it will make us an even more formidable force in the global market,” said CIGCI Executive Secretary, Alex Assanvo.

He emphasised, “It stands to reinforce our joint advocacy and engagement with the European Union for the recognition of our National Traceability Systems and the ARS 1000 standard as key contributors towards achieving compliance in the sector.”

In his state of the industry report to the Board, the Executive Secretary indicated that the actions to implement the vision of the CIGCI are well underway.

Decent income for farmers

He again underscored that the essential issue of a decent income for farmers should be at the heart of any sustainability initiative.

In this respect, the CIGCI Board welcomed the recommendations of the expert groups set up to establish an Economic Pact for Sustainable Cocoa, with the view to designing long-term solutions to achieving a decent living income for cocoa farmers.

In a press release sighted by Cocoa Post, the Board of the cocoa producers’ organisation also welcomed the actions of the two founding members to strengthen their national traceability systems.

In this direction, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana have agreed to establish ad hoc committees on traceability to enhance the effective implementation of their national traceability systems and share good agricultural practices.

In line with the charter establishing the now multilateral organisation for cocoa-producing countries, the board chairmanship position of CIGCI moved from Côte d’Ivoire to Ghana for the next year, where Ghana’s Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Bryan Acheampong, takes over.

Alex AssanvoARS 1000 StandardCIGCICote d'Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa InitiativeDr. Bryan AcheampongEconomic Pact for Sustainable cocoaMember accessionNational Traceability Systems
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