Pre-investment Technical Assistance by LDN TAF
Ecookim Coop-Ca earns revenue from purchasing, processing and exporting cocoa beans from its union network of 30 cooperatives to its main cocoa clients (incl. Mars, Tony’s, Ecom, Walter Matter, etc). In addition to cocoa, Ecookim runs a growing organic cashew business, EcoCajou, and aims to process 10,000mt of the cashew nut by 2025.
Located across 100,000 hectares in Côte d’Ivoire, Ecookim aggregates ~32,000 farmers through the coop system and supports them in obtaining and maintaining Fairtrade/Rainforest/UTZ/Organic certifications. Its strong social mission is engrained in the community investment program that spans infrastructure (schools, roads, latrines, health care facilities), gender, prevention of child labour, enhanced income generation, and reforestation/agroforestry activities.
Ecookim is seeking patient capital in the form of capex and working capital to finance its growth plans. In cocoa, the Union aims to retain a greater share of value addition in-country by building its first processing unit, which will transform cocoa beans into cocoa mass. In cashew, Ecookim is expanding processing facilities to accommodate the increasing organic cashew nut volumes.
Ecookim is also looking to enhance climate resilience and income diversification for its cocoa smallholders through an agroforestry transition.
LDN Fund is interested in supporting this agroforestry transition as part of a larger investment in cocoa and cashew operations.
The LDN Technical Assistance Facility joined hands with IDH’s ISLA Program in Ivory Coast to deepen the agroforestry and reforestation roll-out, Ecoogreen 21, initiated by Ecookim. This Phase 2 of Ecoogreen will look to enhance investment readiness for the LDN Fund by
- ascertaining the business case of agroforestry for Ecookim’s producers,
- enabling and expanding access to finance,
- imbuing a stronger focus on gender, and
- securing incentives for smallholders transitioning to agroforestry, such as premiums, decarbonization and land certificates.
The TA is supporting 22 cooperatives with technical training on reforestation and agroforestry, incl. demonstration of its direct and indirect economic benefits, train producers on the new forestry code and issue land certificates, enable income generation from nurseries, focusing on women and youth. The project is targeting to plant 445,000 trees across 22,000 hectares and benefit 9,000 smallholders.
Read more on how IDH support the investment readiness of Ecookim’s cooperatives network in Côte d’Ivoire here:
Technical assistance support from the LDN TAF does not constitute a commitment from the LDN Fund, or Mirova, to finance directly or indirectly the project described above. Any such commitment shall be subject to inter alia, a detailed technical, financial and legal due diligence of the company and the project, as well as all required LDN Fund investment committee approvals and satisfactory documentation.