Cemoi confectionery group makes gains against cocoa traceability goals

French-founded chocolate group Cemoi has revealed progress against its Cacao Ami des Forêts  (CAF) project created by its Transparence Cacao programme tackling deforestation in Ivory Coast and address long-term viability of farms, reports Neill Barston.

As the business noted, its scheme – which has included a key mission of targeting 100% traceability of its supplies serving the confectionery sector, has been undertake with the ‘Le Conseil du Café-Cacao (CCC) organisation. It has aimed to promote a sustainable cocoa culture focused on  CEMOI environment preservation and producers’ quality of life.

According to Cemoi, the scope of the project involves three cooperatives located in the Abouasso region of Ivory Coast, with in total 2,720 farmers and 2,937 farms covering 4,944 hectares. The venture began in 2017 and was set to be concluded at the end of 2021.

But the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that its activities have been affected, and it will now be concluded at the end of this year.

As part of the scheme, the company launched its Transparence Cacao, that is based on the sustainable development expertise of group, developed over thirty years. This was tasked with a goal of getting to know the networks down to the communities of planters and work with them to improve the quality of their harvest – thereby improving yields and incomes.

Consequently, the company confirmed it set three specific objectives monitored through indicators followed by an independent NGO; Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (AVSF):

This included Increasing the yield from 350 kg/ha (reference average) to 1000 kg/ha for at least 25% of the cocoa farms; Secondly, to  Increase the annual net income by 30% for at least 80% of the producers coached during the project; Finally, trace 100% of the cocoa of the programme from the farmers to the customer, with the support of a number of key organisations. These included CCC, AVSF, the French Agency of Development (AFD), Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS), Rabobank, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Technoserve, Volcagro and Ecotierra.

In the framework of CAF, 29% of the farmers that are coached have obtained a yield of at least 1000 kg/ha and the measured average yield is 800 kg/ha. A total of 613 farmers were coached during the program (290 farmers in 2021).

In collaboration with the HNRS, the company has trained 536 farmers on the rehabilitation of the farms and good forest practises, 838 farmers were also trained on Good Agricultural Practises (GAP). Cemoi has mandated VOLCAGRO to work with 30 qualified applying agents, to make the use of pesticides more secure and efficient; 17 of them are currently active.

The company has also trained nurserymen (9 added in 2021) to promote active reforestation: a total of 243,371 plants were produced and 7,485 producers have purchased these in this framework.

Annual income  
Monitoring of the annual net income from cocoa shows an increase of 50% of the farmers coached
(average based on a sample of producers linked to CAF). The percentage of cocoa farmers that has benefitted from an increase of more than 30% (objective of the project) will be measured at the end of the 2020/2021 crop season. The business also trained farmers to strengthen their professionalism:- A total of 749 bank accounts were opened by farmers, the final objective is to go further and provide access to credit and saving; – 91% of the producers linked to CAF use Mobile Banking services, thanks to the sensitisation of Rabobank.
– 100% of the producers of the program have access to a premium (Transparence Cacao, Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade).

Cocoa traceability 
In the framework of the CAF project, 2,129 cocoa plots covering 4,944 hectares, were GPS polygon mapped and registered in MINKA digital tool. 3 cooperatives were trained to use this tool for their own purpose and to register 100% of their farmers and farms. At the end of 2021, around 50% of the cocoa volume purchased was traceable and segregated to farm level.

Results 2021 breakdown
Description 2021 results
1. Increase the yield from 350 kg/ha (reference average) to 1000 kg/ha for at least 25% of the cocoa farms;
29% of the cocoa farms have a yield equal or more than 1000 kg/ha
613 farmers coached Average yield: 808 kg/ha
2. Increase the annual net income by 30% for at least 80% of the producers coached during the project;
Increase of 50% of the annual average net income from cocoa
749 bank account opened 100 % of the farmers benefit from premium payment
3. Trace 100% of the cocoa of the program from the farmers to the customer.
54% of the cocoa is traceable to farmer level
3 cooperatives trained to register their 2,720 number of farmers and plots
4,944 hectares GPS polygon mapped in the framework of the project
The figures (average and percentage) are based on a survey made on a sample of producers linked to the program.

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