During the past decade, ICCO has initiated and supervised a number of projects in the cocoa sector with emphasis on the development of cocoa production and trade, as well as on the improvement of the income position of smallholder cocoa farmers. The Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) has been the major source of external financing for these projects. Over the years, the CFC has provided financing for a variety of projects, including: the Utilization and Conservation of Cocoa Germplasm, the development of molecular markers to fight Witches’ Broom Disease of cocoa, the distinction between Fine and Bulk cocoa, the Generic Promotion of Cocoa Consumption in Japan, the Improvement of Cocoa Marketing and Trade and the use of Cocoa By-products.
Projects developed and under development since the implementation of the Sixth International Cocoa Agreement address explicitly the objective of achieving a sustainable world cocoa economy. For example, a “Total Quality” project has been devised to improve the cocoa supply chain and achieve traceability back to the village level. A project proposal has also been developed on cocoa-based agro-forestry in Latin America, building on an existing traditional extensive cocoa cultivation system, the so called “Cacau Cabruca System”. A successor project to the cocoa germplasm project has been developed, aiming at the selection and distribution of improved planting material. Recently, a pilot project was initiated to introduce Price Risk Management for cocoa farmers through co-operatives.