Yaoundé, 9 February 2023 – The Sustainable Cocoa Committee in Cameroon was established in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. It is co-chaired by the Cameroonian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Minister of Trade. The process started five years ago and includes representatives from civil society, the private and public sector, and research organizations.
The Committee will conduct consultations with public and private sector partners involved in the cocoa value chain. The aim is to monitor the implementation of the “Roadmap to deforestation-free Cocoa in Cameroon,” signed in Yaoundé in September 2020.
Furthermore, the Committee will ensure the harmonization and coherence of stakeholder activities among others. This will be done for the establishment of a chain of production and marketing of cocoa in compliance with international requirements relating to environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
The establishment of this Committee is a demonstration of the government’s determination to support initiatives that bring development to Cameroon - Minister of Agriculture, Gabriel Mbairobé
Among the attendees was the Head of Delegation of the European Union in Cameroon, Ambassador Philippe Van Damme. According to him, the Cocoa sector in Cameroon is one of the main engines of the Cameroonian economy.
Cameroon’s ambition to further strengthen the sector and prepare for new international challenges is to be welcomed and encouraged. Today I would like to confirm the support of the European Union - Ambassador - Head of Delegation Philippe Van Damme
Jonas Mva, IDH Regional Director for Africa explained that the Sustainable Cocoa Committee in Cameroon has a mandate to promote Cameroonian cocoa on the international market and showed how it meets all sustainability standards, economically, environmentally and socially.
Today we start with cocoa, but tomorrow we can expand it to other crops because today the consumer wants to know where he is coming from and whether the producer is benefiting from his work - Jonas Mva, IDH Regional Director for Africa
Patrick Esapa Enyong, President of the South West Farmer Cooperative Union, was confident about the benefits to producers.
The Committee will add value to Cameroon cocoa. When you add value to Cameroon cocoa, it means the farmer will feel that they are better than before. What we expect to see like change in the field is pricing " - Patrick Esapa Enyong, President of the South West Farmer Cooperative Union
The “Roadmap to deforestation-free Cocoa in Cameroon” is a multi-stakeholder agreement to promote a sustainable cocoa sector that protects forests and improves farmers’ livelihoods in Cameroon. The Roadmap includes nine commitments from promoting long-term conservation and restoring the permanent forest domain, to strengthening cocoa productivity in the long term, and implementing full traceability of cocoa from field to warehouse to port of exit.
Its implementation will follow three main pillars: protection and restoration of forests, sustainable production and marketing of cocoa without deforestation, community engagement and social inclusion.
On the same day, the Sustainable Cocoa Committee held its first meeting. You can access the news here:First Meeting of the Sustainable Cocoa Committee in Cameroon