• Announcement
14. May 2024

The room was focused and the chocolate hot. Cocoa producers from 17 countries across 4 continents and in 3 languages met in the Pullman Hotel in Brussels. With the World Cocoa Conference (WCC) having had closed its doors the day before, the Cocoa Agripreneurs’ Day welcomed cocoa producers to discuss vigorously the newest developments within the value chain. Only hours before, the European Parliament had approved the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD).

The Cocoa Agripreneurs’ Day, organized by the GIZ Project „Agri-Business Facility for Africa” (ABF) in cooperation with the GIZ Program „Sustainability & Value Added in Agricultural Supply Chains – AgriChains” brought key players of the cocoa value chain together to dive into the heart of cocoa sustainability and innovation. The event took place a day after the WCC in Brussels. ABF invited some of their potential cocoa partners who have been selected within the process of a competitive Matching Grant Fund (MGF) for the implementation of their Multi-Actor-Partnership project to participate in the WCC. The invited partners will be implementing projects with a focus on export, where the topics of the WCC will be crucial. With the support of AgriChains, 21 producer representatives from different countries were invited to participate in the conference and to take part in that activity. To make even more out of the partners’ presence in Brussels, the Cocoa Agripreneurs’ Day sought to foster and strengthened the South-South exchange among cocoa producers.

 

Panel discussion: From the left Mr. Guilherme Moura - Vice-president of FAEB (Agriculture and Livestock Federation of Bahia State, Brazil), Ms. Sonia Lehmann - GIZ, Project manager for PRO-PLANTEURS, Mr. Edwin Afari - Executive Director, Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) at COCOBOD, Ghana, and Ms. Adele Gwet - Economic Development & Gender Lead, Chambers Federation, Kenya. © GIZ − Julika Stauber

For the kickoff of the Cocoa Agripreneurs’ Day, the floor was given over to introductory contributions on the newest developments concerning CSDDD and deforestation-free supply chain. The audience listened very attentively; you could hear a pin dropping. Once the floor opened for discussion, the microphones almost overheated due to the passion: African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American, and Oceanic perspectives merged to future potential and challenges for Cocoa.

Sharp at 11:45, the Cocoa Marketplace opened its swinging door. Everyone was invited to „shop” inspiring ideas and state-of-the-art cocoa products presented by cocoa cooperatives. In the afternoon, the swinging door opened once again, and the Marketplace had given place to a World Café presenting project proposals from ABF’s Matching Grant Fund finalists, featuring innovations such as transforming cocoa pods in cosmetics, climate resilient practices, or capacity building strategies. 

This day of extensive networking slowly ended in a joyous atmosphere and with the collective realization that more such exchanges are necessary to allow agripreneurs to take full advantage of the changes occurring in their value chain.

„[This weeks’ take away] I think is really to have become aware of the new European regulations on cocoa, but also to network, to meet other actors in the sector and always to think about how we can improve the daily lives of us young entrepreneurs, farmers, in short, of all the local actors in this sector.”

Aimée Abra Tenu épouse Lawani, CEO of Soleil et Pingouin SARL U, finalist under thes Matching Grant Fund by ABF, Togo

 

Organizing partners:

The Agri-Business Facility for Africa (ABF) is a GIZ-project commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-funded by the European Union under the Samoa Agreement with the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).

The GIZ Global Program „Sustainability & Value Added in Agricultural Supply Chains - AgriChains“ has been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of the EU Sustainable Cocoa Program.

 

Cocoa Marketplace: Abra Tenu épse Lawani, Manager of Soleil et Pingouin, MGF finalist presenting „Valorisation of cocoa pods in ash water for the manufacture of natural cosmetics” project to some leaders of cocoa cooperatives. © GIZ − Julika Stauber