What’s NEW on the Roundtable for Sustainable Cocoa Economy (RSCE)

Mrs Assouan Acquah from Cote d’Ivoire has been confirmed as Co-Chair of the Working Group on the Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy (RSCE).

Mr. Simon M. Schnetzer from Berlin, Germany, will start work on 20 May 2008 as Coordinator for the RSCE. His CV is as follows:

Academic Background

2005- Master of Science in Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany

Work Experience

2006- Capacity Building International (InWEnt), Germany – planning and managing capacity building projects on trade and fiscal politics in Latin America, East Africa and Middle East.

2005- Private Development Group, Tanzania – consultancy in waste management.

2005- International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya – consultancy on trade and environment.

2005- German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Tanzania and Kenya – consultancy for agricultural trade project.

Language and Computer Skills

English, Spanish, French

MS Office and Statistical software (Stata and Eviews)

The First meeting of the Working Group for the Roundtable on a Sustainable Cocoa Economy (RSCE) was held on 6 March 2008. At this meeting, Mr Tony Lass MBE was appointed as a Co-Chairman from the consuming countries. Representatives from producing countries will conduct further consultations before appointing their Co-Chairman and will inform the Secretariat as soon as possible.

Members of the Working Group agreed that the official title of the initiative would be Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy (RSCE). The title could be translated in all languages. However, the acronym would remain “RSCE” in all languages. The suggested translations into French and Spanish are: “Table Ronde pour une Economie Cacaoyère Durable” (French) and “Mesa Redonda sobre una Economía Cacotera Sostenible” (Spanish).

Members further agreed on the objectives for the next RSCE meeting as follows:

Overarching Objective:

  • Continue the informed dialogue from the Accra meeting of October 2007 among stakeholders involved in the world cocoa economy: producer alliances, companies, NGOs, scientists, unions and governments etc. Consider the ways and means to enhance sustainability in the cocoa sector worldwide, building upon the Accra Agenda;

Specific Objectives for this RSCE meeting (RSCE2):

  • Identify the principles underlying the Accra Agenda, taking into account the three pillars of sustainable development (environmental, economic and social);
  • Encourage the (further) development of standards for sustainable cocoa, by starting a process of consultations and dialogue (in meetings and through the web) on the establishment of standards; prepare draft standards (in certain cases) if that is broadly supported;
  • Identify the ways and means of delivering traceability and monitoring of the cocoa chain, from production through trade/processing to consumption;
  • Develop standards for best supply chain practice and promote their implementation, taking account of the special needs of smallholders;
  • Consider the role of certification for cocoa and the similarities/differences of existing and newly developed mechanisms of certification, again taking into account the responsibilities of different stakeholders;
  • Exchange views on existing programmes towards the implementation of core labour standards; and
  • Be a platform for initiatives promoting sustainability in cocoa.

To find out more on the

  • background
  • way forward and
  • recent developments