Supply chain management for total quality cocoa: pilot phase

Eight years
Nature of Project:
Supply chain and quality improvement.
Estimated total Cost:
(Amount withheld at donor’s request)
(Amount withheld at donor’s request)
Counterpart Financing:
(Amount withheld at donor’s request)
Project Executing Agency (PEA):
ICCO Task Force on Quality
Project Supervisory Body:
International Cocoa Organization (ICCO)
Project Starting Date:
November 2001
Completion Date:
April 2009


Brief Description

The project started in November 2001 with the development and implementation of a model of a cocoa supply chain system which would meet the quality criteria of CAOBISCO (Association of Chocolate, Biscuit and Confectionery Industries of the European Union). The system began at the co-operative level where the cocoa was collected from the farmers in villages designated as “project villages”. The cocoa collected from each farmer was kept separate from other cocoas and moved to the warehouse of the cooperative where it was checked for physical quality against the standards of the project.  If the quality criteria were met, the cocoa would be placed into export bags, sealed and labelled.  The cocoa would then be transported to the port, once again checked for quality, then shipped.  This system would ensure not only full traceability to the farmer at the village level, but also full integrity of the cocoa between co-operative and shipment, through to the overseas manufacturer. To encourage farmers and co-operatives to engage in the proposed system and in recognition of the extra effort to produce project quality cocoa, chocolate manufacturers paid a Project Participation Incentive (P.P.I) to the traders for distribution among farmers and co-operatives.


Project Objectives

The main objective of the project was to produce and export cocoa that meets the total quality criteria of the cocoa industry as well as to improve the efficiency of the marketing chain in Côte d’Ivoire.


Project Results

During the pilot operations between 2003 and 2009, the project exported a total of 16,526 tonnes of cocoa that met the essential project cocoa requirements of physical quality standards and traceability. About 15,000 farmers and staff of participating cooperatives received training on best post-harvest practices. Training manuals and quality control equipment worth US$150,000 were provided to the participating cooperatives by the project. An estimated US$ 1 million in Project Participation Incentive (PPI) has been paid to the participating cooperatives and to a Social Fund for community development.
The system developed and tested, proved that it was commercially viable to produce cocoa which meets the physical quality standards of CAOBISCO, which is fully traceable and of which the integrity is maintained between cooperative and the point of export. Logistical problems, the socio-political situation in Côte d’Ivoire, availability of appropriate sacks, implementation of timely training etc., were some of the major constraints identified which made it difficult to achieve the required volumes of project cocoa during the pilot operations.

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