Information for 16034IIED
Certified cocoa: scaling up farmer participation in West Africa
This case study describes efforts by Rainforest Alliance to meet growing industry demand for certified cocoa by rapidly scaling up its network of certified farmers in the cocoa-producing countries of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. A key focus of the paper is on reaching unorganised farmers, as the vast majority of West African cocoa farmers do not belong to co-operatives. By working through supply chain companies and trader networks, Rainforest Alliance was able to certify over 15,000 farmers in just three years. At the same time, the team explored new ways to reduce costs to farmers and to increase farmer benefits.
Millions of farmers in Africa depend on export markets for their livelihoods. But recent market trends have led to declining small farmer participation. Yet, these farmers have the skill and soil to provide the high-quality products the food industry seeks. This collaborative initiative engaged with research, civil society and private sector partners to develop new business models across a variety of sectors that enable smallholders to participate in sustainable trading relationships with international businesses and thereby improve their livelihoods.
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New business models for sustainable trade