By signing the Joint Framework of Action of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative, the government of Côte d’Ivoire and companies agreed on eight main commitments, including the strengthening of supply chain mapping (Commitment N°4, Joint Framework Action) with the ultimate aim of achieving full traceability from planting to exporting the product in all its forms at the national level.
To achieve this objective, three major components have been identified in the implementation plan: (i) effective implementation of the national traceability system, (ii) improvement of supply chain mapping, (iii) implementation of a verifiable monitoring system for traceability from planting to ports in Côte d’Ivoire.
In the start-up phase, the five priority regions of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative were defined as the test area for the traceability system, the implementation of which is estimated at XOF CFA 2,840,000,000 (see budget approved by the Steering Committee on 8 November 2018). This estimated budget does not take into account the second component mentioned above, which is the improvement of supply chain mapping.
In March, Le Conseil du Café-Cacao mobilized XOF CFA 105,000,000 for a feasibility study. The overall objective of this study is to propose, based on experiences already conducted in the field, a national traceability system that is technically, economically, financially and socially viable throughout the value chain of cocoa from Côte d’Ivoire. It will be carried out in two stages: the diagnostic analysis of experiences in the implementation of traceability systems (analysis of the current situation) and proposals for a traceability system adapted to the context of Côte d’Ivoire. The implementation of the two steps should be accompanied by a consultative and iterative process with all partners or key actors of the future traceability system in particular: The Cocoa Coffee Council, the National Bureau of Technical Studies and Development (BNETD), the Forest Development Corporation (SODEFOR), the Ivorian Parks and Reserves Office (OIPR), the Permanent Secretariat REDD+ (SEP REDD+), the services of the Ministry of Water and Forests (MINEF) in charge of forest exploitation and cadastre, wood industries and cocoa industries (companies that are signatories to the Joint Framework Action), the Rural Land Agency (AFOR), the Telecommunications Regulator/ICT Authority of Côte d’Ivoire (ARTCI), technical and financial partners, financial institutions, etc.
On 27 June 2019, Le Conseil du Café-Cacao called for expressions of interest for the selection of a consulting firm. The results will provide a better understanding of the issues involved in the effective implementation of the national traceability system.
The next steps include the following activities: (i) conducting implementation tests and the implementation of a verifiable monitoring system for traceability from the plantation to the ports of Côte d’Ivoire, (ii) the implementation of the monitoring and evaluation framework through the definition of risk control system criteria and the implementation of an information platform, (iii) awareness-raising and training of stakeholders, (iv) capacity building of stakeholders in the sector for traceability system management.
In addition to the funding granted by the Cocoa Coffee Council for this study, additional resources (approximately XOF CFA 2,735,000,000) must be mobilized for the subsequent deployment of the national traceability system by December 2020.