Enhancing traceability and professionalizing cooperatives – an example of Cémoi in Côte d’Ivoire

The Cocoa and Forests Initiative is built on the key pillars of sustainable production, forest protection and social inclusion. A basis for each of these pillars is to have an understanding of the current status of the forests, plantations and population growth in cocoa growing regions. To establish that information it’s crucial to have up to date and accessible maps and supporting technology.

Therefore, many industry partners, such as Cémoi, have started working with their cooperatives to enhance the traceability systems and develop a comprehensive mapping of farms. To date, all plantations of farmers working with Cémoi have been mapped.

Cémoi’s cooperatives train their employees to use a digital tool, to collect data on the farms. This tool includes GPS mapping and enables cooperatives to control the geographical location of their members’ plantations in relation to protected areas. With this knowledge, the cooperatives can develop a plan to stop sourcing from protected areas and educate their members not to create cocoa farms in forest reserves. Farmers in CEMOI’s TRANSPARENCE program are also taught to consider trees, the forest and the environment as a potential source of income, through farm diversification and agroforestry, and are encouraged to invest in their plantation, growing as an entrepreneur.

Combined, this total package professionalizes both cocoa cooperatives and their members.

“These data stored in the cooperatives, not only allows to know the exact position of the plantations of their members in relation to the Cavally forest and the Taï National Park, but it also makes it possible to follow the production and to warn about excessive variations in farmers’ yields ” – Pacome KRA, Regional Coordinator West of CEMOI