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Voice of Cocoa

New Expert Group To Explore Solution To Cocoa Price Standoff

A new stakeholder expert group has been constituted to explore a lasting solution to the cocoa price standoff between West African producers and buyers.

Announcing the move, the Cote d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGCI) said the working expert group is “composed of representatives of member countries and cocoa sector stakeholders.”

According to CIGCI, which is headed by Executive Secretary Alex Assanvo, the group is tasked to study solutions to better resolve certain problems and guarantee a sustainable price mechanism in the long term.

It is unclear which other industry stakeholders will be working alongside Ghana Cocoa Board, Le Conseil du Café Cacao and CIGCI in this group.

However, a press release cited by Cocoa Post indicated that the parties expect the expert group to submit their recommendations by the first quarter of 2023.

They are also expected at the end of their work to reaffirm the importance of all stakeholders engaging transparently to find a lasting solution.

“The CIGCI, the CCC and the Cocobod insist on the need to work together for more tangible, concrete actions on the part of all stakeholders in the cocoa value chain so farmers are not the only ones to bear the costs in a difficult economic climate,” the CIGCI statement said.

The producers reiterated the need for companies in the cocoa industry to respect the implementation of the Living Income Differential (LID), to guarantee a sustainable income for farmers in the two countries.

The Alex Assanvo-led organisation further said, “Indeed, a failure by the industry to show greater commitment to buying trends will have an extremely negative impact on the lives of millions of small-scale cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, for whom cocoa farming is the only subsistence income they have.”

Last month, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana staged a boycott of the World Cocoa Foundation partnership meetings in Brussels, Belgium, over cocoa price issues.

The unprecedented action by the world’s largest producers of cocoa beans followed several complaints about poor world market prices for the commodity resulting in untold farmer poverty and industry ills.

Meanwhile, the establishment of the cocoa price expert group is said to have come at the end of a Friday, November 18 2022, meeting between the countries and companies in the cocoa and chocolate sector.

The meeting among others is said to have planned for the effective resumption of cocoa purchases in accordance with previous commitments.

CIGCI and its member countries encouraged all companies to act and show they sincerely believe in sustainable cocoa production by applying the LID and a positive country origin differential to their purchases.

Kojo Hayford
Source Cocoa Post
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