Report of the 3rd Working Group Meeting on the Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy (RSCE)

Monday, 15 September 2008 at 3.00 pm

I.        Opening of the Meeting

1. The third meeting of the RSCE Working Group was opened by the Co-chairs, Mme. Assouan Acquah, Côte d'Ivoire and Mr. Tony Lass MBE, United Kingdom. The list of participants is attached as an annex.

II.       Adoption of Agenda

2. The draft agenda was adopted as contained in RSCE2/WG/3/1.

III.      Progress report on preparations for the second Roundtable meeting on a Sustainable Cocoa Economy (RSCE2)

3. The RSCE2 Co-chairs reported on the progress made in the preparations for the second Roundtable meeting with reference to document CB/17/2 and expressed great appreciation for the generous donations and financial support from the Governments of Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and Trinidad & Tobago. This had enabled preparations to start, a co-ordination office with staff to be opened and a dedicated website to be launched (www.roundtablecocoa.org). Two screenshots were displayed illustrating how registration for RSCE2 can be done online and free of charge through the website and logistical information provided. The dates for the second Roundtable Meeting, due to take place in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, have been confirmed (24-26 March 2009) and the Hotel Hyatt Regency Trinidad, which has excellent meeting facilities, was announced as the conference venue. Highly competitive rates have been negotiated which could be obtained by booking early using the group reference "G-RSCE". It was noted that some airlines, British Airways in particular, were currently offering very cheap direct flights to Trinidad and Tobago. An announcement (document RSCE2/WG/3/3), including all information on background, registration and logistical information for RSCE2, would shortly be finalized and sent to all stakeholders. The Co-chairs presented a draft outline of the RSCE2 meeting programme with reference to document RSCE2/1 and reported on the composition of the Expert Groups preparing the background documents for RSCE2 (the topics: best known practices in the cocoa supply chain, sustainability initiatives and the challenge of compliance, tracking and traceability, social issues and draft principles for a sustainable cocoa economy) and its leaders. A listing of the RSCE2 Expert Groups is annexed to this report.

4. In the French and Spanish versions of document CB/17/2, a correction had to be made regarding the composition of the expert groups on the last page: Mr. Simon Schnetzer is leader of the group on "sustainability initiatives and the challenge of compliance" and Mr. Tony Lass the leader of the group on "traceability and tracking". The Co-chairs also noted that the next Progress Report for the Second Roundtable Meeting on a Sustainable Cocoa Economy would preferably be a RSCE2 Working Group document (RSCE2/WG/...) and that it would be publicly available on the RSCE website.

5. The representative from Trinidad & Tobago informed the meeting that unfortunately a member of the preparatory committee for RSCE2 was unable to attend this Working Group meeting but reaffirmed the committee's strong support to make the second Roundtable meeting a success. All cocoa stakeholders were invited to participate in RSCE2 in Trinidad & Tobago. A complete list of countries requiring entry visa and diplomatic representations of Trinidad & Tobago would be provided on the Roundtable website. All participants in RSCE2 that require entry visa were strongly advised to obtain this prior to travel. Airlines were increasingly preventing travellers who needed visas from travelling on the assumption that they could obtain a "visa on arrival".

IV.     Terms of Engagement for RSCE2

6. The Co-chairs presented the draft proposal of the Terms of Engagement for RSCE2 with reference to document RSCE2/2. In its introduction the document highlighted the importance of sustainability to the world cocoa economy and the origins of the Roundtable process now called "the Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy (RSCE)". This confirmed more linkage to the progress achieved in Accra should be included and that the ultimate objective of this roundtable process was to bring sustainability to the mainstream of industrially used cocoa while avoiding the creation of another niche market.

7. The following mission statement was proposed: "Promoting the production and use of sustainable cocoa through dialogue and cooperation with all stakeholders along the supply chain". It was hoped that this would stimulate the creation of a world cocoa economy that is economically sustainable, environmentally sound and socially acceptable along the whole value chain. During the meeting, participants focused on certain aspects of the wording of the mission statement: the representative from Cameroon suggested the use of "encourage" instead of "promote" and warned of the broad term of "socially acceptable"; the representative from the Dutch government suggested "socially responsible" as alternative to "socially acceptable"; and a representative from Côte d'Ivoire suggested "furthering" instead of "creation".

8. The Co-chairs briefly outlined the remaining part of the draft Terms of Engagement for RSCE2 (document RSCE2/2): highlighting characteristics of the world cocoa industry; how work towards RSCE2 could be developed; how and in what way stakeholders could be involved; how process management would function; and what the future operating model could be. In an active discussion several points were raised. It was suggested that a decision on the formal organization and public reviewing of documents should be made at the right time. Other members of the Working Group proposed that they should be discussed at RSCE2 in Trinidad & Tobago, while others suggested postponing discussions on "independence" until a later stage.

9. Several members of the working group expressed the need of splitting the RSCE2/2 document on Terms of Engagement in two: 1) The process to effectively complete preparations for RSCE2 in Trinidad & Tobago and 2) Objectives and Terms of Engagement for the operation of RSCE (to be proposed for discussion and agreement at RSCE2). Draft proposals for both documents would be sent to the RSCE2 Working Group members for comments. The first document would not require any public review; however the second would require legitimisation by a mechanism other than the working group itself, possibly at RSCE2 in Trinidad and Tobago. This would address the need for clarity on those documents and the necessity of implementing a process of public review.

10. Other Roundtable processes working towards sustainability have adopted the ISEAL model of best practices for the development and implementation of international standards related to environmental and social objectives. This was explained in the draft of document RSCE2/WG/3/2.

V.      Background Documents for RSCE2

11. The Co-chairs presented the current status of the work done on the background documents RSCE2/3 - RSCE2/7 and repeated the invitation to all members of the Working Group to actively engage in the development of the documents and nominate national experts for the work in the groups. Feedback from Ecuador, Malaysia and Nigeria was still pending. During the meeting several participants committed to contribute to the work on the documents - a revised list is attached as Annex I. A representative from Côte d'Ivoire confirmed that they would submit a consolidated list of experts for the groups at a later stage.

12. All members of the working group were invited to review and comment on the draft outlines with the document reference RSCE2/3 - RSCE2/7 and to submit comments to the Roundtable Co-ordinator before 26.09.2008.

13. In the subsequent discussion it was recommended to take "certification initiatives" out of the title of document RSCE2/4. The Co-chairs confirmed this change and suggested "sustainability initiatives and the challenge of compliance" as a new working title.

14. Members of the Expert Groups expressed concern about the problem of effective communication in groups with English, French and Spanish speaking members. For the same reason, it was acknowledged that language is critical to developing the documents in a transparent and participatory way. Two ways for responding to the need for more translation were suggested: firstly by finding more affordable sources of good translations in cocoa producing countries; secondly by preparing a consolidated version of the document outlines in all three working languages, having experts develop the contents in their respective language and then - once all contributions had been combined in a draft document - commissioning translations of the first draft into all working languages.

VI.     Programme for the second Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy in Trinidad and Tobago, 24-27 March 2009

15. The Co-chairs provided a brief overview of the proposed programme, invited written comments before 26 September 2008 and suggested to focus on discussion of the objectives.

VII.    Objectives and format of RSCE2

16. The Roundtable Co-ordinator proposed some amendments to the draft objectives for the second Roundtable meeting with reference to document RSCE2/0. Several participants recalled the objectives agreed on in the first RSCE2 Working Group meeting and it was agreed to withdraw document RSCE2/0 and represent the earlier agreed set of objectives albeit in a somewhat abbreviated form.

17. Several members commented on the issue of including "certification" as an objective of discussion in the background documents and at RSCE2. Given that so much uncertainty persisted regarding the definition and forms of certification, members agreed that forms of certification should be analysed and that this analysis should serve as input for later discussions.

VIII.   Date and Place of the next Meeting of the Working Group and Expert Groups

18. The next meeting would be held in London (UK) from 3 to 4 November 2008 and would convene the members of the RSCE2 Working Group and leaders of the RSCE2 Expert Groups to discuss progress made and next steps for the preparation of the documents. On 3 November, the Working Group meeting would take place and on 4 November, sub-groups would be formed working on the different documents. The documents under discussion should be submitted to participants of the meeting one week prior to the meeting. Participants who would not be able to attend the meeting in person should have the option of participating via telephone conference.

19. Representatives from the EC, Netherlands and Switzerland reported commitments for this week and African representatives reported the need for a written invitation to the meeting to be issued.

20. The subsequent meeting was anticipated to be held on the afternoon of 12 January 2009, with the meeting of the ICCO Consultative Board to be held in that morning.

IX.      Conclusion

21. Agenda items 7.1, 7.2 and 8 were held over until the next meeting.


LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

Members and nominated alternates

Members

Mr. Tony Lass MBE (Co-Chair - Leader of an Expert Group)
Mrs. Acquah Assouan Amouan (Co-Chair - Leader of an Expert Group)

Ms Isabelle Adam (ECA)
Mr. Edem Amegashie-Duvon (Ghana)
Mr. Enzo Barattini (European Commission)
Dr. Martin Gilmour (CAOBISCO)
Ms Roanna Gopaul (Trinidad & Tobago - RSCE2 sponsor/alternate)
Dr. Victor Iyama (Nigeria/alternate)
Ms. Chantal Oltramare (Switzerland)
Ms Marieke Poissonnier (Oxfam International - NGO representative/alternate)
Mr. Simon Schnetzer (Roundtable Co-ordinator - Leader of an Expert Group)
Mr. Juan-Diego Stacey (Ecuador)
Mr. Hagen Streichert (Germany/spokesman for consumers/RSCE2 sponsor)
Mr. Aly Touré (Côte d'Ivoire
Mr. Pierre Tsimi Enouga (Cameroon)
Mr. Marcel Vernooij (Netherlands - sponsor RSCE2 / Leader of an Expert Group)
Mr. Ewald Wermuth (Netherlands - sponsor RSCE2 / alternate)
Ms. Gine Zwart (Oxfam International - NGO representative)

Regrets

Mr. Aknan Ehtook (Malaysia)
Mr. Bill Guyton (World Cocoa Foundation)
Dr. Akinwale Ojo (Cocoa Association of Nigeria)
Mr. St.Cyr Djikalou (spokesman for producers)
Ms. Patricia Maharaj (Trinidad & Tobago - sponsor RSCE2)
Mr. Fitz-Clarence Waldropt (Trinidad & Tobago - sponsor RSCE2)
Mr. Richard Holland (WWF - NGO representative)

Observers

Mr. Jacques Steijn (EWF)
Dr. Jan Vingerhoets (Executive Director, ICCO)

ICCO Secretariat

Dr. Jean-Marc Anga
Mr. Loke Fong Han

In attendance

Mr. Ngwe Apollinaire
Mr. Ms Nathalie Asse (Côte d'Ivoire)
Mr. Masarudin Mohd. Yusof (Malaysia)
Ms Noor Azilah Abu Shahid (Malaysia)
Mr. Vicente Javier Urrutia Cueva (Ecuador)

ANNEX 1: RSCE2 Expert Groups

RSCE2/2: Terms of Engagement

 

Mr. Tony Lass MBE (leader)

Cocoa Research Association Ltd

Mme Amouan Acquah Assouan

Cabinet du Premier Ministre, Côte d'Ivoire

Mr. Simon Schnetzer

RSCE, Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy

RSCE2/3: Best Known Practices in the Cocoa Supply Chain

 

Dr. Jean-Marc Anga (leader)

International Cocoa Organization

Ms. Isabelle Adam

European Cocoa Association

Dr. Martin Gilmour

CAOBISCO, Association of the Chocolate, Biscuit and Confectionery Industries of the European Union

Mr. Richard Holland

World Wide Fund for Nature

Dr. René Kossa

Côte d'Ivoire

 

Mr. Simon Schnetzer

RSCE, Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy

Mr. Jack Steijn

European Warehouse Keepers' Federation

RSCE2/4: Sustainability Initiatives and the Challenge of Compliance

 

Mr. Simon Schnetzer (leader)

RSCE, Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy

Mr. Richard Holland

World Wide Fund for Nature

Mr. Youssouf Ndjore

FTPCC, Côte d'Ivoire

Ms. Chantal Oltramare

Secrétariat d'Etat à l'économie SECO - Département fédéral de l'Economie DFE

Mr. Philip Sigley

The Federation of Cocoa Commerce Ltd (FCC)

Mr. Marcel Vernooij

Department of International Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Netherlands

Ms. Gine Zwart

Oxfam Novib

RSCE2/5: Study on Traceability and Tracking

 

Mr. Tony Lass MBE (leader)

Cocoa Research Association Ltd

Mme Amouan ACQUAH ASSOUAN

Cabinet du Premier Ministre, Côte d'Ivoire

Ms. Isabelle Adam

European Cocoa Association

Dr. Jean-Marc Anga

International Cocoa Organization

Dr. F. M. Amoah

CGIR / COCOBOD, Ghana

Mr. Enzo Barattini

European Commission

Dr. Martin Gilmour

CAOBISCO, Association of the Chocolate, Biscuit And Confectionery Industries of the European Union

Dr. Victor Halim Iyama

Cocoa Association of Nigeria

Mr. Simon Schnetzer

RSCE, Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy

Mr. Jack Steijn

European Warehouse Keepers' Federation

RSCE2/6: Social Issues

 

Mme Amouan Acquah Assouan (leader)

Cabinet du Premier Ministre, Côte d'Ivoire

Ms Isabelle Adam

European Cocoa Association

Dr. Victor Halim Iyama

Cocoa Association of Nigeria

Mr. Peter McAllister

International Cocoa Initiative

Mr. Ebenezer Tei Quartey

GCB, Ghana

Mr. Simon Schnetzer

RSCE, Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy

Mr Hagen Streichert

BMELV - Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of Germany

Ms. Gine Zwart

Oxfam Novib

RSCE2/7: Draft Outline of Principles for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy

 

Mr. Marcel Vernooij (leader)

Department of International Affairs Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Netherlands

Mr. Pierre Tsimi Enouga

CICC, Cameroon

Ms. Patricia Maharaj

Ministry of Agriculture, Land & Marine Resources, Trinidad & Tobago

Mr. Ebenezer Tei Quartey

GCB, Ghana

Mr. Simon Schnetzer

RSCE, Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy

Mr. Vicente Urrutia Cueva

Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganaderia, Acuacultura y Pesca, Ecuador