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Practical publications

Agrotourism development in Ghana: A study of its prospects and challenges at Adjeikrom Cocoa Tour Facility, Eshun, Gabriel, and Tettey Christopher , Bulletin of Geography. Socio–economic Series, 06/2014, Issue 25, Torun, Ploand, p.99, (2014) , (Practical Publication)
UTZ CERTIFIED IMPACT REPORT, UTZ certified , Amsterdam, (2014) , (Practical Publication)
Fairtrade Cocoa in West Africa, International, Fairtrade, and Africa Fairtrade , 06/2014, (2014) , (Practical Publication)
Sustainable Cocoa. The Netherlands and the International Cocoa Sector, , World Cocoa Conference - The Netherlands, 09/2014, (2014) , (Practical Publication)
Making cocoa more sustainable. , Toose, W., van Elzakker B., and Daniëls L. , (2013) , (Practical Publication)
The Partially Liberalized Cocoa Sector in Ghana, Kolavalli, Shashidhara, Vigneri Marcella, Maamah Haruna, and Poku John , 09/2012, Washington, DC, (2012) , (Practical Publication)

Certified cocoa: scaling up farmer participation in West Africa

sjon van 't hof's picture
TitleCertified cocoa: scaling up farmer participation in West Africa
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsPaschall, Melissa, and Seville Don
Date Published2012///
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsCameroon, capacity building, certification, chains & relations, corporate social responsibility, farmers & traders, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, private sector policies, Rainforest Alliance, sierra leone

When Unilever and other large international companies decided in 2009 to choose Rainforest Alliance (RA) certification for some of their chocolate brands, the scheme had to radically extend its reach and scale up certification efforts in order to meet projected demand. Since more than half the world’s cocoa is grown in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana (40 per cent and 25 per cent respectively), Unilever decided to work with its suppliers and with RA to certify new farmers in these countries. The aims of the project were to counter growing consumer concerns about child labor, deforestation and farmer incomes and also to reverse declining yields and falling supplies of cocoa as farmers reacted to low incomes by not investing in their crops, or even by getting out of cocoa altogether. With most cocoa farmers being unorganized and the largest producer group in Ghana not opting for RA certification, the project had to extend its reach through traders and processors rather than through farmer co- operatives. The project has also extended its geographical scope to Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Cameroon. The project has been a success in various respects. Lessons learned include: (1) there are limits to how fast certified supply can be scaled up to meet demand; (2) local traders can bear the risks and costs of training and certification for unorganized farmers; (3) benefits come from improved productivity, including complementary crops and other income-generating schemes, rather than from premium prices; (4) building on existing training schemes and extension services can cut the cost of certification; and (5) studies to evaluate the costs and benefits of certification need to be carefully carried out.