As part of its marketing coaching programme the TDC currently accompanies eight cocoa cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire. One of these is SCINPA (Société Coopérative Ivoirienne de Négoce des Produits Agricoles), which was established in 2003 in Agboville, just north of Abidjan. With its four buy – in sites SCINPA is a trustworthy partner reaching 3000 members in the region. The cooperative has progressed much and has built quite some trust over the years, for instance by investing in community projects such as schools and water pumps and because it has always defended the interests of farmers even during political turmoil. SCINPA has one major customer: Cargill. It co-sponsors Utz certification and the farmer field schools.
Regardless of all these positive points, this cooperative is also facing the typical problems of the bottom of the cocoa supply chain: Owing to cash problems they can only purchase part of their members’ crops and because of a lack of customers they can only sell a small share at Fairtrade conditions; after all, Cargill opts for Utz certification. That is why SCINPA applied for the TDC’s marketing coaching programme. In the summer of 2016 it started with a preparatory session to map all data concerning volumes, turnover and revenue. A year later, the marketing coach of the TDC returned to Agboville to brainstorm with participants on strategies, target groups, messages and communication channels. Communication appeared to be the weak point for SCINPA. The communication budget of the TDC were used towards producing radio spots, a website, folders and brochures.
Among the priorities were a brochure explaining things to farmers in words and images – for the illiterate among them! – how certification works, and a presentation brochure for potential customers. The latter was already used at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris at the end of October 2017. The second coaching module in November 2017 coincided with the Salon International de l’Agriculture et des Ressources Animales (SARA), which draws big crowds and where SCINPA had a well -organised booth. The Minister of Agriculture and Sustainable Development and the Ambassador of the Netherlands, who promised to visit the cooperative, visited the booth. Since then,
SCINPA has received more media attention, including an article in the Afrique Culture magazine and an interview on RTI, which was broadcast during prime time. A boost for visibility!
YEYASSO is a cooperative operating in a rather remote area in the west of Côte d’Ivoire, which had been unstable until recently because of the civil war. It used to be a coffee region primarily which – also because of climate change – has become increasingly attractive to cocoa farming
This presentation gives an overview on the advantages and shortcomings of the voluntary sustainability standards Fairtrade International, Utz and Rainforest Alliance in the cocoa sector.
In recent years, there have been numerous studies attesting that cocoa producers in Côte d’Ivoire, the main producing country, live in poverty. They earn EUR 0.86, around 1 dollar a day, according to Barry-Callebaut and the French Development Agency. This income keeps them below the poverty line and to make ends meet they have to resort to child labour and rampant deforestation (the productivity of cleared land required less labour in the early years).