Joint Cocoa Research Fund
Sustainable cocoa supply chain calls for high standards of quality and productivity whereby cocoa is safe for consumer consumption, complies with manufacturers’ quality requirements, and meets the growing global demand.
CAOBISCO, the European Cocoa Association (ECA) and the Federation of Cocoa Commerce (FCC) are committed to working towards more sustainable cocoa which complies with such requirements for consumer, manufacturer and farmer benefit.
As the overall productivity for cocoa has not changed significantly in decades (current average cocoa yields are around 400kg/ha), the rehabilitation of existing cocoa producing land (by using improved planting material), the use of fertilisers and the management of cocoa pests and diseases are considered key priorities. Over the last few years, CAOBISCO, ECA, and FCC have successfully worked on defining Good Agricultural Practices for food safety in cocoa.
Given deteriorating yields and quality levels in several countries, the growing consumer interest in cocoa sustainability, and closer links with producing countries, it is now time to move forward and review sustainable industry quality needs as well as productivity.
In 2013, the three associations joined forces by setting up a Joint Research Fund. The Fund operates under the associations’ Joint Cocoa Quality & Productivity Working Group and is currently administered by ECA. On average three projects (that typically run over a two to five year timespan) are administered through the Fund.
Current projects include:
Cocoa Bean Quality Requirements Guide
Research on occurrence and mitigation of cadmium in cocoa
Detection of Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus (CSSV)
As a supply chain approach is crucial to tackling quality and productivity issues in the cocoa supply chain, the joint WG has a regular exchange of information and cooperates in this work with cocoa producing countries governments, research institutes, the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) and the European Commission.