Fairtrade West Africa

Helping cocoa cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire get the most out of their data

Fairtrade certifies over 250 cocoa cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire, comprising over 100,000 farmers and their families. However, management of data about the farmers, their farms, families and cocoa output and earnings is generally poor. This undermines efforts to verify that cooperatives are meeting certification standards and prevents their members from extracting value from their data (for example, to access loans and micro-insurance or to monitor child labour and track forestry protection).

In order to address this gap, in 2019 Fairtrade launched a project to help cocoa cooperatives develop an internal management system for their data which is fit for their needs and which is owned and operated by them. This meant adopting a bottom-up approach, recognising that each cooperative is at a different level of development and has its own set of priorities.

Tedd’s work on the project involved close consultation with Fairtrade and its partners (e.g. FLOCERT, Fairtrade International’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning [MEL] team), carrying out field visits to cooperatives in the Divo and Agboville regions where he met with cooperative heads, délégués and cocoa farmers, and pulling together the findings in a report with a list of key recommendations. Subsequent phases of the project will extend this model to all cooperatives in Fairtrade’s network in Côte d’Ivoire and potentially to all cooperatives in Fairtrade West Africa and other emerging markets (such as Latin America).

Tedd summarised his findings from Phase 1 of the project in an article for GTR (click here to read) and below are some photos and videos of his field research.

Anne Marie Yao (Fairtrade West Africa) and Baboukari Bakayoko, CEO of Direct Soft, whose tracking & certification system is being used by Ecookim’s cocoa cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire.
Cocoa being dried in the sun inside and outside one of the largest cooperatives in Divo. The 2019/20 season was in full swing.
Checking cocoa bean quality at ECAKOG cooperative located 50km west of Divo. This batch made it through: 95 beans/100g (within the 105/100g limit), 8.5% humidity (just above 8% max), 11% under-fermented (well under 20% limit) and 3% not fermented. Sweltering & meticulous work.
This cocoa bean has been under-fermented (which gives it a deep purple colour).
Meeting farmers who are members of ECAKOG cocoa cooperative, 50km west of Divo.
The drive south from Divo to Socoopacdi’s field warehouse was breathtaking. Plantations lined both sides of the dirt road – of cocoa, oil palm, rubber (Hevea) and bananas… you name it. At one point we crossed this spectacular river which was in full flow.
Visiting a field warehouse run by Socoopacdi, located 50km south of Divo.
Malick NDiaye, Director of SCINPA cocoa cooperative in Agboville, showing me the PDA used by délégués in the field for collecting farmer data.
Délégué at a field warehouse using the PDA. The weighing scales automatically upload data to the PDA which links this to unique tags on each bag of cocoa.
Entrance to SCINPA’s HQ in Agboville with a clear message about child labour on its wall.