The Cocoa Origins Program supports companies using relatively small volumes of cocoa to become involved in sustainability projects at the origins of their cocoa supply chain and contribute to the overall sustainability of cocoa products linked to the Dutch market. In February 2018 the Cocoa Origins Program was launched and runs until the end of 2020.


IDH initiated in 2009 a Letter of Intent signed by the Dutch government together with stakeholders in the Dutch cocoa and chocolate sector  to reach step by step 100% sustainable cocoa consumption on the Dutch market by 2025. Cocoa Origins is a new IDH program funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food quality, to help stakeholders reach the objectives of the Letter of Intent by supporting investments in sustainability projects at the origins of their cocoa supply. The Program aims to establish stable commercial relations between cocoa producers and cocoa users and improve sustainability at the farm and community level.

Find out more in our two pager or in the Annual Report 2020.

Call for proposals

In the prospectus all the criteria can be found to fill out the concept note form for a proposal. There have been two calls for proposals. The first round was in February 2018 and the second round for proposals was in March 2019.

Any private party or other stakeholder active in the cocoa supply chain with linkage to the Dutch market could submit a proposal. All proposals require a minimum level of private co-funding of 50%, with a minimum budget of 50.000 EUR by project applicants, either alone or by combining multiple private sources into one proposal.

The Cocoa Origins Program will promote cooperation throughout the supply chain, contributing to closer and more stable, long-term trade relations to reach 100% sustainable cocoa consumption on the Dutch market by 2025. The objectives for the Cocoa Origins Program are linked to the objectives of the Letter of Intent to:

  1. Improve the market share of sustainable cocoa
  2. Improve the level of traceability of sustainable cocoa
  3. Improve the impact of the sustainability of the cocoa
  4. Improve the public awareness of sustainability

The governance of the program consists of the following bodies:

The Program Advisor Committee (PAC) consists of sector experts from private sector and government. The PAC is chaired by the IDH. The main role of the PAC is to provide strategic guidance to the Cocoa Origins Program with their experience in different aspects of the cocoa sector.

The Program Management team is composed by IDH and Equipoise. IDH has the overall responsibility for the implementation of this program and is jointly implementing this program with Equipoise.

IDH will take up the role of:

  • overseeing the program implementation
  • contracting party of the project applicants
  • Program monitoring

Equipoise will take up the role of:

  • Support companies in developing quality proposals
  • Project monitoring
  • Run the secretariat of the PAC

The Project Review committee will consist of 3 nominated members from the Program Management team, IDH staff and PAC. Their main responsibility is to evaluate the projects against the define criteria and share this with the Program Management.

Applicants become a contracted Implementing Partner (IP) upon approval of the proposal. IPs are responsible for the implementation of approved projects that are co-funded by the Program. IPs must be able to comply with the required procedures for monitoring, reporting, financial management and auditing as requested by the Fund (in line with the Guidelines and the RMF). As such, they are responsible for gathering the necessary evidence of private sector contributions from all partners involved in the project.

Jonas Mva Mva

Bas Buurman

Jack Steijn

Caroline Lubbers


Contact us for more information