SDM Case Study: Sucden, Ivory Coast

As a major buyer and exporter of cocoa from Côte d’Ivoire, Sucden Cocoa has a history of working closely with farmers, their families, and cooperatives within the sector. Through these longstanding relationships, Sucden is aware of the many challenges cocoa farming families face.

Therefore, more recently, i.) Sucden has been providing Ivorian cocoa farmers with interventions designed to assist farmers and their families to increase as well as diversify their income, ii.) has supported the certification of cocoa cooperatives and pays the Living Income Differential (LID) on cocoa sourced from Côte d’Ivoire, iii.) and continuously complies with a diverse set of sustainability requirements set by the cocoa brands it sells sustainable cocoa to while aiming to develop one Sucden Sustainability Standard.

However, some questions remain: who are the farmers to work with, what services do they require, what is the maturity of the cocoa value chain, and to what extent are its actors able to be self-sufficient service providers?

This report provides an answer to the question: “How can Sucden create a stable sourcing environment with self-sufficient actors that enables them to ensure a supply of sustainable cocoa while enabling SHF households to decrease the living income gap by 2025?”, and recommends:

  1. Segment, evaluate, and manage the farmer base to inform tailored service offering that enables smallholder farmer households to decrease their living income gap, securing and increasing sustainable cocoa supply to the cooperatives Sucden sources from.
  2. Understand and manage cooperatives’ level of professionality and financial capacity, to inform their capacity and needs to act as a self-sufficient actor in a decentralized SDM, securing and increasing sustainable cocoa supply to Sucden.
  3. Invest in financial and digital capacity to secure the long-term resilience of the decentralized SDM approach, mitigating financial risks borne by farmers/coops and leveraging developed digital solutions, securing and increasing sustainable cocoa supply.

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