Trade for Development Centre is a programme of Enabel, the Belgian development agency.

SCINPA: cocoa from Ivory Coast

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!

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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

Fair trade struggles to lift cocoa farmers out of poverty in Ivory Coast

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[1]. This income keeps them below the poverty line[2] 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).


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