21 March 2013, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia–The International Cocoa Organization is to organize an International Workshop on Cocoa Certification in Douala, Cameroon, 24 – 27 June 2013, the ICCO announced today.
The Workshop, to be organized in conjunction with the Ministry of Commerce of Cameroon and the Office National du Café et du Cacao, and supported by the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative IDH, aims to bring together all stakeholders to build consensus on certification and improve on existing certification schemes.
Schemes including Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Utz and organic currently hold about 15% of the world cocoa market, but there is still great uncertainty as to whether certification provides a clear benefit to cocoa farmers. Following on from an ICCO-commissioned study on cocoa certification that was published in 2012, the Workshop intends to give both sides of the certification argument the chance to put their cases and to find ways to narrow the differences between them.
The recommendations from the Workshop will form the basis for implementing certification so that it yields an improvement in the livelihoods of cocoa farmers.
The Workshop is directed at farmers, cooperative members, key officials from relevant government departments of producing and consuming countries, executives from chocolate and cocoa companies, and representatives from certification bodies, civil society and research organizations.