CocoaAction Brasil notches up success in developing the country’s cocoa sector

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

The CocoaAction Brasil programme is beginning to bear fruit for the country. Pic: WCF
The CocoaAction Brasil programme is beginning to bear fruit for the country. Pic: WCF

Related tags WCF Cocoa Sustainability Brazil

Launched in October 2018 at the World Cocoa Foundation’s (WCF) Partnership Meeting in São Paulo, CocoaAction Brasil is coming to the end of its initial five-year cycle. The recent publication of an Impact Report reveals how it has helped cocoa regain its priority status in the country with local governments — mainly in the states of Bahia, Pará, Espírito Santo and Rondônia — and private sector and organisations collaborating on a range of schemes promoting growth and sustainability.

The goal of CocoaAction Brasil was to find solutions that increase productivity, improve the quality of Brazil’s cocoa, including controlling pests and diseases, improve farmers’ living and working conditions, strengthen farmers’ organisations, and support sustainable forest-positive cocoa production systems implemented by engaging members and partners throughout the supply chain.

Collaboration between a complex group of stakeholders has been the main challenge, but as a ‘backbone organisation’, CocoaAction Brasil has enabled a positive environment for the the whole value chain  that has resulted in greater efficiency and improved governance of projects.

At its core it is a public-private, pre-competitive initiative, brought together by the WCF that can provide solutions to the main bottlenecks to promote a business and enabling environment It’s success so far is revealed by an independent audit by Sense-Lab, whose figures show that over five years of collective work the initiative has scored:

  • 8 funding companies
  • 42 entities in governance structure
  • 7 new companies invited to join
  • 21 governance meetings
  • Participation in 6 groups and forums of the cocoa chain
  • More than 2,500 actors in contact list
  • Over 200 organisations engaged in initiative’s activities

Cacau 2030 Project

One of CocoaAction Brasil’s successes has been the introduction of the Cacau 2030 Project, with its purpose to accelerate the sustainable development of the cocoa chain, with focus on impact at field-level. Through multiple partners, the project was structured to overcome bottlenecks in the chain, with actions directed at producers, cooperatives and technicians, facilitating financial credit for growers, improvement of living conditions and the promotion of decent labour.

The cocoa chain in Brazil

  • Brazil is world’s 6th cocoa producing country
  • + 95,000 cocoa growers
  • Annual production ~200,000 tons
  • Main producing states: Bahia, Pará, Espírito Santo and Rondônia
  • The world’s fifth chocolate consuming market (2.7 kg per capita/ year)
  • Chain is responsible for creating nearly 200,000 direct and indirect jobs The entire cocoa chain is present in the country: cocoa production, processing, chocolate industry, final consumer

Moving forward, Chris Vincent, President of the WCF,  told ConfectioneryNews the programme is set to continue. “It will have a new five-year plan and we also want to support and grow our efforts in other origin countries, like Colombia.

"If you look at at our role as facilitator at the centre of this enormous web of actors, one of the things that I want us to bring is the global perspective and a cross-commodity perspective. I think we can improve our role as a facilitator by looking at what has happened in palm oil or coffee, where the issues with cocoa are broadly the same, so with CocoaAction Brasil, and other initiatives, I want us to have that global knowledge and bring it into these debates, in terms of traceability and let’s learn from these lessons.”


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