An International Cocoa Organization Workshop that began on 7 June in Cameroon marked the launch of a major programme to help African cocoa producers maintain their market access in the face of stringent pesticide residue legislation.
Pesticide residue regulations published by the European Union, the USA and Japan could affect the cocoa trade and deprive millions of smallholder farmers and their governments of the much needed revenues required for poverty alleviation programmes. These Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, relating to pesticide residues and other harmful substances, have to be met by imported cocoa.
The Workshop–which took place 7 – 10 June in Yaoundé, Cameroon–was the first stage in the ICCO project ‘SPS Capacity Building in Africa to Mitigate the Harmful Effects of Pesticide Residues in Cocoa and to Maintain Market Access’. It brought together government agencies responsible for the cocoa sector, national food safety organizations, institutions responsible for the registration and use of pesticides, farmers, cocoa associations and important members of the cocoa trade and industry.
In partnership with the Standards and Trade Development Facility, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, CropLife International, and COLEACP/EDES, the ICCO project aims to assist cocoa producing countries to strengthen their expertise and capacity to implement international SPS standards, thus improving their ability to gain or maintain market access for their cocoa beans.
The project will involve five major African cocoa producing countries—Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo—each of which will be represented and make presentations at the Workshop.
As African cocoa producers account for 75% of world cocoa exports, it is crucial to help them understand and respond to the international SPS standards. An important part of the approach is assisting farmers and other cocoa supply chain stakeholders to adopt good agricultural and warehousing practices.
For more information, please click here to visit the dedicated new section of the ICCO website: www.icco.org/sites/sps