The Cocoa Agripreneurs' Day – an event connecting partners after the World Cocoa Conference 2024

Events & Cooperation, Impacts, MGF projects

Background: Cocoa is an important export product worldwide and source of income for around 5.5 Mio. farmers in the southern hemisphere and livelihood for more than 40 Mio. people worldwide. The European Union (EU) is a significant market for this commodity. Forthcoming EU legislation on sustainable supply chains affect producers in multiple ways. The due diligence obligations of EU-based companies bring challenges for producers and traders as they must meet with increasing information requirements. Nonetheless, the legislation also offers several opportunities by strengthening the producers’ rights and increasing transparency.  

This year, the World Cocoa Conference (WCC) brings together agripreneurs from around the world in Brussels from 21 – 24 April. This highly anticipated event serves as a pivotal gathering for key stakeholders in the cocoa sector, encompassing participants involved in production, import, export, and transformation. International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), the organizer of this event, is creating a more inclusive conference by offering opportunities for virtual participation. During the event, all stakeholders will have a platform to discuss and develop solutions to address the challenges such as low producer prices, child labor and deforestation facing the cocoa industry. Furthermore, participants will have the opportunity to propose measures that would lead to a fairer distribution of value and guarantee a higher living income for farmers. Finally, an updated roadmap outlining key actions that stakeholders commit to taking to address the sector's challenges will be developed.

This event presents the perfect opportunity to create a space for exchange and network between agripreneurs – producers and micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs (MSMEs) – working in partnership with initiatives from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). 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” brings key players of the cocoa value chain together to dive into the heart of cocoa sustainability and innovation. The event will take 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 are 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 aims to foster and strengthen the South-South exchange among cocoa producers. In the morning, impulses for discussion will be given by different cocoa actors among the value chain on the impact of the existing and upcoming EU legislation. A marketplace will conclude the morning, followed by a “World Café”, where Multi-Actor-Partnerships will present actions for biodiversity and climate-smart practices.   

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). Together with GIZ Market-Oriented Value chains for jobs and growth in the ECOWAS region (MOVE)-ComCashew, ABF operationalizes component 1 of EU’s framework program for support to ACP agriculture value chains development. The Joint Action aims to develop and enhance the capacities of actors along ACP agricultural value chains to attract finance and investment, towards low-emission and climate resilient practices and value chains. MOVE-ComCashew is mandated to implement activities for cashew, while ABF is mandated to implement activities for the cocoa, maize, and livestock (cattle, sheep, goat) value chains.  

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. It supports the structural reform of the cocoa sector and compliance with EU regulations. AgriChains works on 9 global agricultural supply chains - cocoa, coffee, soy, banana, palm oil, natural rubber, cotton, tea & spices - in more than 20 countries. The aim is to increase sustainability in agricultural supply chains by minimizing their environmental footprint, integrating smallholder farmers, and respecting human rights along the supply chains. The Program follows a multi-stakeholder approach, involving a close cooperation with government partners, global companies, associations, standard organizations, and cooperatives, among others.

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