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Cote d’Ivoire-Ghana Explores Next Steps For Economic Pact on Sustainable Cocoa

The world’s top cocoa-producing duo, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, are strategising on the next steps to building an Economic Pact for the production and trade in sustainable cocoa.

The move is in line with efforts by the two countries to reposition themselves to produce cocoa beans that meet emerging market requirements and also address economic issues regarding equitable prices for farmers.

At a recent steering committee meeting of their partnership organisation, the Cote d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGCI), in Accra officials deliberated on critical issues.

Topmost on the agenda were the current state of play in the cocoa sector, progress on national traceability systems, the upcoming legislation from consuming countries, and the next steps towards building the Economic Pact for Sustainable Cocoa.

The committee, which is the highest decision-making body of CIGCI, also received recommendations from the expert Technical Working Group on Price and Markets and set the timeline for the other workstreams that will build the Economic Pact for Sustainable Cocoa.

“The Pact is part of our strategic vision towards a more sustainable price mechanism in the long term, and ultimately a more equitable income for farmers – the objective our two presidents set in 2018 when establishing this trailblazing Initiative,” said CIGCI Executive Secretary, Alex Assanvo.

In May 2022, the CIGCI embarked on a measure that saw the monthly publication of origin differentials, a separate quality premium.

Prior to that, cocoa from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire was heavily discounted by buyers and used to offset the cost of the $400 per tonne Living Income Differential price mechanism introduced to address farmer poverty.

“In the short term, however, we have helped to bring some serenity to the market by implementing measures that helped in consolidating the Living Income Differential (LID) such as publishing the origin differentials and strengthening coordination between the two country’s trading rooms,” Assanvo said.

The Executive Secretary also reported that the organisation had in parallel also set up four workstreams to build an Economic Pact with partners – the first of which was on Price and Markets.

The recommendations from the four working groups are expected to form the framework of the Economic Pact that was agreed to in principle through the signing of a joint statement of intent by industry in July 2022.

The group comprised experts from member countries, cocoa and chocolate companies, civil society, and the cocoa exchange met virtually and in-person between November 2022 and March 2023.

The other working groups, including Traceability and Standards, Accountability and Monitoring, as well as the Cost of Sustainable Cocoa, are expected to complete their work by the end of this year.

The Friday 2 June 2023 meeting was attended by the Ministers of Agriculture from the two countries as well as the heads of the cocoa regulatory bodies – Le Conseil du Café-Cacao and Ghana Cocoa Board.

“We congratulate the Secretariat for the work done in such a short time to deliver progress on the vision of the Initiative and the results we are seeing regarding improved stability in the market, higher cocoa prices and strong value for our cocoa,” said Committee Chair and Ivorian Agriculture Minister, Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani.

He noted that several other cocoa-producing countries have expressed interest in joining the organisation and “encouraged them [the Secretariat] to fast-track discussions for the integration of Cameroon and Nigeria, who were invited to our last meeting.” 

The committee also acknowledged reports of attacks on some Ghanaian cocoa farmers along the Tano River and will set up a joint committee to find a swift and lasting solution to farmer security along the border.



Kojo Hayford
Source Cocoa Post
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