Latest News From The ICCO

The International Cocoa Council and subsidiary bodies, including the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy, as well as the Economics and Administration and Finance Committees, will meet at the Hotel Sofitel Ivoire, Abidjan Côte d'Ivoire,  24 - 28 April 2017.

The one-day Emergency High Level Meeting on Cocoa Prices will take place on Monday 24 April 2017 at the same venue.

Provisional Timetable of Meetings, 24 - 28 April 2017, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

ED(MEM) 1018-Rev.2

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International Cocoa Council: Draft Agenda

ICC-95-1-Rev.1

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Administration and Finance Committee: Draft Agenda

AF-11-1-Rev.1

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Economics Committee: Draft Agenda

EC-9-1-Rev.1

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Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy: Draft Agenda

CB-34-1-Rev.1

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Abidjan, 20 March 2017 -- The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), established under the aegis of the United Nations and located in London, United Kingdom since 1973, is relocating to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, the leading producer of beans with more than a third of the world's supply.

After 44 years in the United Kingdom, a consumer country, the time was right for the Organization to move closer to the realities of cocoa producers in order to provide them with expertise in analyzing and solving the challenges facing them.

The ICCO inaugurates its headquarters (pictured above with ICCO Secretariat staff) in Abidjan on 25 April 2017. This inauguration coincides with the week-long meetings of the International Cocoa Council and its subsidiary bodies from 24 to 28 April 2017.

The ICCO has 51 member states, 21 from exporting countries and 30 from importing countries, as well as representatives of the private and public sectors. Its core mandate is to regulate and foster the operations of the world cocoa sector, in compliance with the successive international agreements signed by the member states. (Pictured: ICCO Chairman, Ecuador's Vice Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, H.E. Mr. Luis Valverde, is welcomed to the Abidjan headquarters by Executive Director Dr. Jean-Marc Anga). 

The Organization, through projects and capacity building programs that engage the various stakeholders in the value chain, aims to achieve a sustainable cocoa economy that encompasses, social, economic and environmental aspects.

The ICCO's areas of expertise, among others, include economic studies of the world cocoa sector as well as the collection, analysis and dissemination of statistical data through:

- The Monthly Review of the cocoa market;
- The quarterly statistical bulletin (QBCS), reputed for its relevance and impartiality;
- The World Cocoa Directory, the only reliable reference publication of its kind;
- The organization of World Cocoa Conferences (WCC);
- The organization of seminars and training workshops for stakeholders in the world cocoa chain.

The relocation to Côte d'Ivoire, a producing country, marks a decisive step in the life of ICCO. This is an opportunity to consolidate the achievements and operate from Abidjan with the highest level of expertise crucial in this global organization, in order to adequately meet the expectations of all involved, especially the small producers.

London, 28 February 2017--The International Cocoa Organization today releases its first forecasts for the 2016/2017 cocoa year and revised estimates of world production, grindings and stocks of cocoa beans for 2015/2016, as summarized below. The data published in Issue No. 1 - Volume XLIII - Cocoa year 2016/2017 of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics reflect the most recent information available to the Secretariat as at the middle of February 2017.

Summary of forecasts and revised estimates

Cocoa year
(Oct-Sep)
2015/2016 2016/2017 Year-on-year change
   Previous estimates a/ Revised estimates Forecasts  
  (thousand tonnes)   (Per cent)
World production 4 031 3 965
4 552
+ 587 + 14.8%
World grindings 4 141 4 121
4 242 + 121  + 2.9%
Surplus/deficit b/ - 150 - 196
+ 264
   
           
End-of-season stocks 1 447 1 401
1 665
+ 264 - 18.8%
Stocks/Grindings ratio 34.9% 34.0% 39.3%    

Notes:
a/   Estimates published in Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, Vol. XLII - No. 4 - Cocoa year 2015/2016
b/   Surplus/deficit: Net world crop (gross crop adjusted for loss in weight) minus grindings
Totals may differ due to rounding.

This issue of the Bulletin contains the Secretariat’s first forecasts for the 2016/2017 cocoa year, as well as data for the past four years of production and grindings of cocoa beans, detailed by country. The main features of the global cocoa market are illustrated in colour charts. In addition, the Bulletin includes comments on crop and demand prospects in the leading countries for the current season, and a review of price developments on international markets for cocoa beans during the October-December quarter of 2016. 

Statistical information on trade in cocoa beans, cocoa products and chocolate, by country and by region, published in this edition, covers annual data from 2012/2013 to 2014/2015 and quarterly statistics for the period October-December 2014 to April-June 2016. Details of origin of imports and destination of exports for leading cocoa importing countries are also provided. Historical statistics on cocoa trade and consumption, by country and by region, for the period 2006/2007 to 2014/2015 are presented for reference. 

Copies of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, including Microsoft Excel files and Adobe PDF format, can be ordered by completing and returning this form, or from the ICCO Secretariat at the address below:

International Cocoa Organization
06 P.O. Box 6891
Abidjan 06
Côte d'Ivoire

Tel:              +225 22 51 49 50/51
Fax:             +225 22 51 49 79
E-mail:         This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Is market concentration among large cocoa firms responsible for the widespread poverty among cocoa farmers? Probably not, according to a new report just published by SEO Amsterdam Economics (www.seo.nl/cocoa).

While market concentration in the sector has increased, particularly among cocoa processors, the report does not find evidence that this concentration is excessive, or that market power is being abused to keep prices artificially low.

Instead, they argue that there are two other key reasons why most cocoa farmers live in extreme poverty. The first is the fact that the productivity of cocoa farmers is very low, particularly in West Africa. The second is that there are many cocoa farmers without realistic alternative income options. As a result, these farmers continue to supply cocoa even at very low prices.

Training programmes aimed at raising productivity can help individual cocoa farmers produce more cocoa and thereby earn a better income. However, the SEO Amsterdam Economics report argues that this cannot be a sustainable solution for all farmers, because if the supply of cocoa rises faster than demand, this will lower the cocoa price even further.

The best way to get farmers out of poverty is through a ‘dual transition’ whereby some farmers invest in sustainably raising their cocoa productivity, while many other cocoa farmers will develop additional or alternative sources of income. Such a transition requires significant improvements in farmers’ access to information, training, infrastructure, and finance. This will make them less dependent on cocoa and will improve their bargaining position.

The report does not find evidence that a regulated price mechanism in producing countries leads to higher incomes for cocoa farmers than a liberalised price system. One key reason why the average farm-gate price is lower in regulated countries is that national cocoa boards take a high percentage out of cocoa export revenues, in some cases more than 50 percent. While part of these cocoa taxes are reinvested in the sector and in general public goods, this has not yet resulted in significantly higher productivity for cocoa farmers in these countries. One of the problems here appears to be the lack of transparency and efficiency of the allocated public reinvestments (e.g. in input distribution).

In countries with liberalised cocoa sectors (particularly Cameroon and Nigeria), there is some scope to raise farm-gate prices through increasing cocoa farmers’ bargaining power, including through stronger farmer organizations, as well as through increasing opportunities for earning alternative income options. As the case of Indonesia illustrates, having more realistic alternatives means that farmers can opt out of cocoa, which likely is one of the reasons why cocoa prices in Indonesia are higher (another reason is that the Indonesian tax system stimulates local cocoa processing).

In countries with regulated cocoa sectors (Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire), the main way to raise cocoa prices and yields is through improving the transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of the regulated system. One advantage of the regulated price system is that this provides some protection to cocoa farmers. Nevertheless, there is anecdotal evidence that farmers may not always receive the regulated price, and the regulated price is substantially lower than in liberalised countries. The report concludes, therefore, that regulated countries should increase transparency about the way regulated prices and cocoa taxes are determined, and about the way these cocoa tax revenues are spent. Finally, there might be scope to improve the quality of cocoa beans, and therefore potentially the price paid for these beans, through more effective public investments and incentives to produce higher quality cocoa.

Click here to access the full report, Market Concentration and Price Formation in the Global Cocoa Value Chain

London, 26 January 2017 -- The ICCO Expert Working Group on Stocks (EWGS) met today to review the level of world cocoa bean stocks. The EWGS is composed of experts in the cocoa field who meet once a year, at the invitation of the ICCO, to review and analyse the results of the ICCO’s annual survey of cocoa stocks held in warehouses worldwide. The survey has been conducted every year since 2000 and aims to improve transparency in the cocoa market.

Location of cocoa bean stocks 30 September
2015
30 September
2016
Difference
(year-on-year)
   (thousands of tonnes)
(thousands of tonnes)  (thousands of tonnes)
STOCKS IN COCOA IMPORTING COUNTRIES 1,086 1,185  99
of which:      
Europe 759 899 139
Licensed US warehouse stocks                  244 185 -59
       
STOCKS IN COCOA PRODUCING COUNTRIES 317 236 -80
       
COCOA BEANS IN TRANSIT 87 56  -32
       
TOTAL ESTIMATED 1,490 1,477  -13
WORLD COCOA BEAN STOCKS (ICCO survey)   
       
Total world stocks (statistically-derived) QBCS 1,597 1,447 -150

Totals and differences may differ due to rounding

The result of the latest survey showed that world cocoa bean stocks fell to 1.477 million tonnes as at the end of the 2015/2016 cocoa year (30 September 2016). 80% of the stocks were located in cocoa importing countries, while 16% were held in cocoa producing countries and 4% were afloat as at 30 September 2016.

The level of world cocoa bean stocks identified by the ICCO survey was down by 13,000 tonnes compared to the previous year. This result reflects a smaller cocoa supply deficit than the one published by the ICCO in November 2016 in its latest Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics (QBCS), estimated at 150,000 tonnes for the 2015/2016 season. The review conducted by the EWGS during its meeting led to the conclusion that the survey results may have underestimated the reduction of existing world stocks during that year due to the contraction of “invisible” stocks - i.e. origin stocks held in locations not reporting to the ICCO survey. Consequently, the cocoa supply deficit for the 2015/2016 season was higher than the 13,000 tonnes stock draw identified by the survey.

The ICCO Secretariat maintains, so far, its supply deficit estimate of 150,000 tonnes for 2015/2016 as published in its latest QBCS, and to be revised only in its next Bulletin due at the end of February 2017, taking into account the outcome of this survey.

London, 30 November 2016--The International Cocoa Organization today released its revised estimates, summarized below, of world production, grindings and stocks of cocoa beans for the 2015/2016 cocoa year. The data published in Issue No. 4 - Volume XLII - Cocoa year 2015/2016 of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, reflect the most recent information available to the Secretariat as at the beginning of November 2016.

Summary of revised estimates

Cocoa year
(Oct-Sep)
2014/2015 2015/2016 Year-on-year change
   Revised
estimates
Previous
estimates a/
Revised
estimates
 
  (thousand tonnes)   (Per cent)
World production 4 248
3 988 4 031
- 217
- 5.1%
World grindings 4 154
4 160 4 141
- 13 - 0.3%
Surplus/deficit b/      52 - 212 - 150
   
           
End-of-season stocks 1 597
1 376
1 447
- 150 - 9.4%
Stocks/Grindings ratio 38.4% 33.1% 34.9%    

Notes:
a/  Estimates published in Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, Vol. XLII - No. 3 - Cocoa year 2015/2016
b/  Surplus/deficit: net world crop (gross crop adjusted for loss in weight) minus grindings
Totals may differ due to rounding..

This issue of the Bulletin contains the Secretariat’s revised estimates for the 2015/2016 cocoa year as well as data for the past four years of production and grindings of cocoa beans, detailed by country. The main features of the global cocoa market are illustrated in colour charts. In addition, the Bulletin includes comments on the crop and demand situation in the leading countries, and a review of price developments on international markets for cocoa beans during the 2015/2016 cocoa year.

Statistical information on trade in cocoa beans, cocoa products and chocolate, by country and by region, published in this edition, covers annual data from 2012/2013 to 2014/2015 and quarterly statistics for the period July-September 2014 to January-March 2016. Details of destination of exports and origin of imports for leading cocoa exporting countries are also provided. Historical statistics on cocoa trade and consumption, by country and by region, for the period 2006/2007 to 2014/2015 are presented for reference.

Copies of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, including Microsoft Excel files and Adobe PDF format, can be ordered by completing and returning this form, or from the ICCO Secretariat at the address below:

International Cocoa Organization
Westgate House
Ealing
London W5 1YY
Tel: +44 (0)20 8991 6000
Fax: +44 (0)20 8997 4372
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

31 October 2016 -- On the occasion of the 22nd edition of the chocolate show Salon du Chocolat in Paris, at which he spoke, the Executive Director of the ICCO, Dr. Jean-Marc Anga, was interviewed by French television service France 24 about the current situation for cocoa supply, processing and chocolate availability, among other topics.

The interview can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYQlK0z4Neo&feature=youtu.be 

London, 7 October 2016 – The ICCO is well on track to move to its new headquarters in the Ivorian commercial capital of Abidjan by January 2017, Executive Director Dr. Jean-Marc Anga reported to the 94th regular session of the International Cocoa Council, held in London 26 – 30 September.

Logistics related to the relocation, agreed at last year’s 92nd session, have been progressing well, Dr. Anga said, and the new building being provided by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire was almost ready for occupation by over 20 ICCO staff.

The Council meeting -- graced with the presence of the Cameroon Ministers of Commerce H.E. Mr. Luc Magloire Mbaraga Atangana, and of External Relations, Minister Delegate H.E. Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute, the High Commissioner of Cameroon H.E. Mr. Nkwele Ekaney, the Ecuadorian Vice Minister of Agriculture H.E. Mr Luis Valverde and Ambassadors H.E. Mr. Hermano Telles Ribeiro of Brazil, H.E. Dr. Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo of the Dominican Republic, H.E. Mr. Carlos Abad of Ecuador, H.E. Mrs. Guisell Morales Echaverry of Nicaragua, H.E. Mr. Claudio de la Puente of Peru and H.E. Ms. Rocio Manero of Venezuela -- also involved discussion of a broad range of other issues related to the Organization’s international work.

At an initial meeting of the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy, members praised the ICCO’s third edition of the World Cocoa Conference (WCC3), held in Bávaro, Dominican Republic, in May, thanks to the generous hosting of the Government of the Dominican Republic. Board members began making plans for a working group to direct the content of the fourth edition, once again to combine with a Council meeting. WCC4 (including the accompanying Council session) is now scheduled to take place 22 - 28 April 2018 at the Maritim Hotel Berlin in the heart of the German capital, by the kind invitation of hosts the Government of the German Federal Republic.

Board members also recommended that the ICCO organize an International Conference on Cocoa Research, and heard a report by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) on key performance indicators and how they could be used to monitor the success of the ongoing work towards the goals of the Global Cocoa Agenda, the ICCO’s roadmap to a sustainable cocoa sector. The Board also expressed its full support to the Government of Ecuador in its efforts to rehabilitate its cocoa sector following the devastating earthquake that struck the country in April.

After last year’s success, the September session of the Council once again incorporated the Cocoa Market Outlook Conference, a day-long meeting of sector experts whose forecasts and analysis of the cocoa and chocolate business in the current and upcoming cocoa years attracted an appreciative international audience of over 200 participants.

In reporting to the Economics Committee about the outcome of the Asian CocoaSafe project, the Secretariat was able to show that the capacity-building work, conducted in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea, had achieved more than originally expected in improving stakeholder knowledge on areas such as Good Agricultural Practices and in creating a platform for exchange of information among stakeholder groups.

The Secretariat also reported on nine ICCO projects and studies under implementation and making good progress. The Committee was also updated on the current functioning and efficiency of the cocoa futures markets, following changes in the futures contracts and increased presence of speculators in commodity markets.

On the issue of selecting a new Executive Director, the Council took note of the withdrawal of two applicants out of three vying for the position, leaving only one. Giving due consideration to the possible challenges facing the Organization in its new host country and the need to provide critical continuity in the new environment, the Council decided to extend the appointment of the incumbent Executive Director, for two years, ending in September 2018.

Finally, the International Cocoa Council unanimously elected H.E. Mr. Luis Valverde (Ecuador) as its Chairman for the 2016/17 cocoa year, while Mr. Tri Purnajaya (Indonesia) was unanimously elected to serve as Vice Chairman for the year in question, beginning 1 October.

Mr. Conradin Rasi (Switzerland) was unanimously elected to serve as Chairman of the Administration and Finance Committee for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 cocoa years. H.E. Mrs. Guisell Morales-Echaverry (Nicaragua) was unanimously elected to serve as Vice-Chairman for the two years in question.

On the Economics Committee, Mr. Corneille Tabalo (Democratic Republic of Congo) was unanimously elected to serve as Chairman for 2016/17 and 2017/18. The Vice Chairman for the two years will be nominated by France.

Finally, the Board elected Ms. Cathy Pieters, Director of the Cocoa Life programme at Mondelēz International as Chairman for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 cocoa years. Dr. Victor Iyama of Nigeria was nominated as Vice Chairman.

At a special last-ever London reception held in Wembley Stadium, near the venue of the Council meetings, dignitaries, delegates and Secretariat members from the Organization’s 43-year history gathered to celebrate both the ICCO’s time in the UK and its move to Côte d’Ivoire. Executive Director Dr. Jean-Marc Anga reviewed some of the past achievements and outstanding personnel involved with the Organization and looked forward to the ambitious plans that the ICCO has for its tenure in Abidjan beginning next year.

The 95th regular session of the International Cocoa Council and subsidiary bodies is set for 24 – 28 April 2017 in Abidjan at a venue to be confirmed.

Below: Past and present members of the ICCO Secretariat at the final London reception for the Organization held at Wembley Stadium, 28 September 2016

London, 27 September 2016 – The ICCO’s second Cocoa Market Outlook Conference today brought over 200 delegates to London to hear the latest analysis and forecasts for the upcoming cocoa season from a panel of experts from across the sector and the globe.

After a welcome from Executive Director Dr. Jean-Marc Anga, and an introduction from moderator Ms. Emiko Terazono of the Financial Times, the international audience at the day-long Conference heard an overview presentation on the global prospects for cocoa supply and demand from ICCO Director of Economics and Statistics Mr. Laurent Pipitone.

Mr. Laurent Souron, Head of Cocoa Research at Armajaro Research, looked in detail at the effects on current West African production of weather patterns including El Niño and the harmattan winds.

From West African financial institution Ecobank, Head of Group Research Dr. Edward George examined the prospects for a possible rebound of cocoa production in West Africa, while Deputy Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board Dr. Francis K. Oppong explained his government’s policies aimed at accelerating growth in cocoa output and addressing a number of issues that affect that process.

Rounding off the morning session, cocoa trader Mr. Max Goettler of Cocoanect in Amsterdam reported on current increasing trend in Latin American cocoa production, and said that Ecuador and Peru, the two countries with the strongest growth, could well represent the solution to the current structural deficit in the market.

At a lively panel session featuring all of the morning’s presenters, the engaged audience raised questions touching on the professionalism of cocoa farmers, different models of marketing cocoa in different origins, the effects of climate change on production and whether or not origin grinding actually adds value, among many other subjects.

After lunch, the topics moved onto industry’s quality requirements and increasing regulatory pressure, with Dr. Michelle End, Cocoa Research Manager at the UK’s Cocoa Research Association, reviewing the recently updated guidelines for cocoa quality from the European cocoa processors and chocolate makers.

Ms. Ann Duponcheel, Global Trade & Regulatory Affairs Manager at Barry Callebaut, speaking on behalf of the European Cocoa Association, reviewed recent and upcoming regulatory changes and their challenges in relation to cocoa production. She also considered the post-Brexit role of the UK government, in taking on the responsibility for both trade agreements and regulations, under which both cocoa and its products would in future be imported into Britain.

As the focus moved onto the market for semi-finished products, Mr. Gerard Stapleton, Head of Coffee, Cocoa and Natural Rubber Research at LMC International, outlined the recent trends and future outlook in the global market for cocoa products including cocoa butter and powder. Mr. Carlos Mera Arzeno, Senior Commodity Risk Analyst with Rabobank charted the various mechanisms in place for coping with the shifting tides of the cocoa grinding industry.

Finally, moving onto the chocolate sector and the recipe for its growth, Mr. Alan Rownan, Ethical Labels Analyst with Euromonitor International, looked at the problems of affordability of chocolate in many markets, and the effect of labels and the presentation of sustainability issues on chocolate products as a spur to consumption.

After the Conference, the delegates networked at a special reception hosted by the ICCO’s Executive Director, and the consensus appeared to be that the Conference had been very worthwhile in supporting the ICCO’s aim of increasing transparency in the market.

The 2016 Cocoa Market Outlook Conference was kindly sponsored by the CME Group.

The presentations from the Conference are now available to download by clicking here.

Click here for a downloadable gallery of images from the Conference.

Pictured above: Panel session at the Cocoa Market Outlook Conference 2016 (l-r): Moderator Emiko Terazono with presenters Max Goettler, Laurent Souron, Dr. Edward George, Dr. Francis Oppong and Laurent Pipitone

London, 31 August 2016--The International Cocoa Organization today releases its revised forecasts for the current 2015/2016 cocoa year and revised estimates of world production, grindings and stocks of cocoa beans for 2014/2015, as summarized below. The data published in Issue No. 3 - Volume XLII - Cocoa year 2015/2016 of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, reflect the most recent information available to the Secretariat as at the beginning of August 2016.

Summary of revised forecasts and estimates

Cocoa year
(Oct-Sep)
2014/2015 2015/2016 Year-on-year change
   Revised
estimates
Previous
forecasts a/
Revised
forecasts
 
  (thousand tonnes)   (Per cent)
World production 4 236
4 039 3 988
- 248 - 5.9%
World grindings 4 152
4 179 4 160  + 8 + 0.2%
Surplus/deficit b/ + 42 - 180 - 212    
           
End-of-season stocks 1 588
1 432
1 376 - 212 - 13.4%
Stocks/Grindings ratio 38.2% 34.3% 33.1%    

Notes:
a/   Estimates published in Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, Vol. XLII - No. 2 - Cocoa year 2015/2016
b/   Surplus/deficit: net world crop (gross crop adjusted for loss in weight) minus grindings
Totals may differ due to rounding.

This issue of the Bulletin contains the Secretariat’s revised forecasts for the 2015/2016 cocoa year as well as data for the past four years of production and grindings of cocoa beans, detailed by country. The main features of the global cocoa market are illustrated in colour charts. In addition, the Bulletin includes comments on crop and demand prospects in the leading countries for the current season, and a review of price developments on international markets for cocoa beans during the April-June quarter of 2016.

Statistical information on trade in cocoa beans, cocoa products and chocolate, by country and by region, published in this edition, covers annual data from 2012/2013 to 2014/2015 and quarterly statistics for the period April-June 2014 to October-December 2015. Details of origin of imports and destination of exports for leading cocoa importing countries are also provided. Historical statistics on cocoa trade and consumption, by country and by region, for the period 2006/2007 to 2014/2015 are presented for reference.

Copies of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, including in Microsoft Excel files and Adobe PDF format versions, can be ordered by completing and returning this form or from the ICCO Secretariat at the address below:


International Cocoa Organization
Westgate House
Ealing
London W5 1YY, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 8991 6000
Fax: +44 (0)20 8997 4372
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

London, 22 August 2016 – The ICCO today published its Study on the Establishment of a Cocoa Sustainability Fund, which aims at reviewing options to source additional funding to support cocoa farmers.

The cocoa economy faces a number of severe challenges, including low yields and productivity, prevalent poverty among smallholder cocoa farmers, child labour and price volatility, to name just a few. All key stakeholders in the cocoa value chain - including the governments of both cocoa exporting and cocoa importing countries, international developmental institutions, non-governmental organizations and companies – are aware that the precarious situation faced by cocoa farmers must improve. A roadmap, the Global Cocoa Agenda, was set up by the cocoa community at the first World Cocoa Conference, in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, in November 2012.

While many initiatives by parties involved in the cocoa value chain and development agencies have been put in place in recent years, encountering some significant successes, the problems remain, as the challenges are vast and clearly require activities scaled up to ensure that cocoa farmers are given the right opportunities to become successful and improve their situation significantly.

With this background, the ICCO commissioned a study to explore the options for a Cocoa Sustainability Fund, which would be able to mobilize sufficient funds, guarantee the participation of the key stakeholders, and be able to address the most urgent problems faced by smallholder cocoa farmers.

Funds could be sourced from an additional fee charged for certified cocoa, a fee on cocoa financial market transactions, a fee on non-certified cocoa trade, or a voluntary or compulsory levy on every bar of chocolate, the study says. It also makes proposals for management and distribution of the raised funds, based on the experience of similar efforts in other agricultural sectors, for example, in palm oil, cotton, meat and coffee.

First introduced by its main author Friedel Hütz-Adams of the NGO Südwind-Institut at the third World Cocoa Conference in the Dominican Republic in May, the study will be further discussed by the ICCO Consultative Board (representatives from the private sector, the research community, and farmers) in September in London and subsequently by the ICCO Council.

The study, commissioned by the ICCO, and co-funded by the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO) and the ICCO, is available to download free of charge by clicking here.

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ICCO Secretariat

Postal Address:
International Cocoa Organization
06 BP 1166 Abidjan 06
Côte d'Ivoire

Tel:  +225 22 51 49 50/51
Fax: +225 22 51 49 79
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ICCO Agreements

The ICCO International Cocoa Agreement is available to download in Acrobat PDF format.

Go to the ICCO Agreements page

ICCO Membership Procedure

The procedures for becoming a member of the International Cocoa Organization are provided in Articles 52 to 57 of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2010.

How to Become an ICCO Member - International Cocoa Agreement 2010

General Information

Further information on the ICCO, the cocoa market, statistics, meetings, or any other subject related to the world cocoa economy can be obtained by contacting the Information and Media Officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.