The Conseil du Café-Cacao is Mobilizing Resources for a Feasibility Study on Cocoa Traceability

By signing the Joint Framework for Action of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and cocoa sector companies agreed on eight key commitments, and in particular on strengthening supply chain mapping (Commitment 4), with the ultimate objective of achieving full traceability from farm to first purchase point at the national level. To achieve this objective, three major components have been identified in the implementation plan: (i) the effective implementation of the national traceability system, (ii) the improvement of supply chain mapping, and (iii) the implementation of a verifiable monitoring system for traceability from farm to ports in Côte d’Ivoire.

In the start-up phase, the five priority regions of the CFI were identified as full-scale test areas for the traceability system with an estimated overall cost of 2,84 billion CFA Francs, according to the budget approved by the Steering Committee on 8 November 2018. This estimated budget does not take into account the cost of the Census of Cocoa Coffee Growers and their Orchards (CCCR) operation led and funded entirely by the Conseil du Café-Cacao.

In March 2019, the Conseil du Café-Cacao mobilized the necessary resources to carry out a feasibility study on traceability. The overall objective is to propose a technically, economically, financially, and socially viable unified traceability system throughout the cocoa value chain in Côte d’Ivoire based on experiences already conducted in the field. It will be carried out in two stages, a 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 these stages should be accompanied by a consultative and iterative process with all partners or key actors of the future traceability system, in particular: The Conseil du Café-Cacao, 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 Ministry of Water and Forests’ (MINEF) services in charge of forest exploitation and cadastre, wood, and cocoa manufacturers, the Rural Land Agency (AFOR), the Telecommunications Regulator Authority/ICT of Côte d’Ivoire (ARTCI), technical and financial partners, and financial institutions.

On Thursday 27 June 2019, the Conseil du Café-Cacao launched a call for expressions of interest for the selection of a consultancy to carry out the work. 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) the implementation of the system, (ii) the conduct of implementation tests and the implementation of a verifiable monitoring system for traceability from the plantation to the ports of Côte d’Ivoire, (iii) the implementation of the monitoring and evaluation framework through the definition of the criteria for a risk control system and the implementation of an information platform, (iv) awareness raising and stakeholders’ training, and (v) capacity building of stakeholders in the sector for the management of the traceability system. In addition to the funding granted by the Conseil du Café-Cacao for this study, additional resources (approximately 2,735 billion CFA Francs) will have to be mobilized for the subsequent deployment of the national traceability system by December 2020.