Energized by Cocoa!

Events & Cooperation, MGF projects

17 countries, 4 continents, 3 languages for the Cocoa Agripreneur’s Day

15 April, Brussels, 09:30am. The room was focused and the chocolate hot. Cocoa producers from 17 countries across 4 continents and in 3 languages meet in the Pullman Hotel, outside the clouds lifted. With the World Cocoa Conference 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).

For the kickoff, the floor was given over to introductory contributions on the newest developments (CSDDD) and deforestation-free supply chain. The audience listened very attentively; you could hear a pin dropping. In addition, a discussion round took up the questions of who will be the loosers and winners of the CSDDD and how fair living incomes and tracebility can be ensured. Once the round opened to all, the microphones almost overheated due to the passionate participations. African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American, and Oceanic perspectives merged to future potential and challenges for Cocoa.

Sharp at 11:15, 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. The Marketplace had given place to a lively World Café presenting project proposals from the multi-actor partnership finalists under the Matching Grant Fund (MGF), 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” said Aimée Abra Tenu épouse Lawani, CEO of Soleil et Pingouin SARL U, Togo. One of the multi-actor partnership finalist under the MGF organised by the GIZ project Agri-Business Facility for Africa (ABF).

ABF organized together with GIZ Program AgriChains a trilingual exchange event themed, “Cocoa Agripreneurs’ Day“ in Brussels on 25 April, following the 5th World Cocoa Conference with contribution from GIZ-Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA), ProPlanteurs and Green Innovation Centers.

Find the video of the Cocoa Agripreneurs’ Day in Brussels on YouTube. Kindly note: The video is available in French, but automatic subtitles can be used.

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