Economy

Cocoa Economy Informations

Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy

The creation of the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy was one of the major innovations of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2001. The Board consists of private sector representatives of both exporting and importing Member countries whose mandate is to act in an advisory capacity to the International Cocoa Council on an extensive range of subjects.

The Council, at its meeting in March 2013, decided to greatly expand the Board from its previous 16 members, although the Board still includes experts from both exporting and importing countries, appointed by the Council every two years. The Board may designate one or more alternates and advisers to be approved by the Council.

The Board met for the first time in its expanded form in September 2013.

icon Consultative Board Members and Alternates 2016-17 and 2017-18

The Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy represents all sectors of the cocoa economy. These sectors include: associations, national and regional cocoa producer organizations, cocoa exporter organizations, research institutes and any other private institutions with interests in the cocoa economy. Private entities from both Member and non-Member countries are welcome to participate in the work of the Consultative Board.

In accordance with the International Cocoa Agreement, 2001, the mandate of the Consultative Board is to:

  • Contribute to the development of a sustainable cocoa economy;
  • Identify and find appropriate solutions to any threats to supply and demand;
  • Facilitate the exchange of information on production, consumption and stocks; and
  • Advise on other cocoa-related matters within the scope of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2001.

The Consultative Board maintains close co-operation with the Council and its subsidiary bodies, in order to co-ordinate its activities with the other subsidiary bodies of the Council. The Consultative Board also initiates and maintains close co-operation with other institutions, such as private associations in the cocoa and chocolate sector, established outside the scope of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2001.

Since its establishment, the Board has worked on the implementation of an ambitious work programme covering:

  • cocoa consumption;
  • cocoa bean processing into intermediate cocoa products;
  • cocoa bean marketing;
  • cocoa bean post-harvest treatment;
  • training for farmers;
  • cocoa farm establishment;
  • cocoa cultivation.

The main focus of the Consultative Board´s work is to establish a broadly accepted and supported concept of “sustainable cocoa economy”; to establish the ways and means to measure and to achieve progress towards reaching sustainability. Simultaneously the Board has been working on establishing a number of “building blocks” towards a sustainable world cocoa economy.

The Board has established a clear position for the benefit of the whole cocoa industry in relation to the use of pesticides, as defined in the Action Programme on Pesticides, together with recommendations on proper training and fumigation treatment.

The Board has also established a clear position on the application of tariffs, with a recommendation that all customs tariffs applied on imports of semi-finished products from origin countries should be zero and that the governments and authorities concerned should achieve a zero rate on customs tariffs as soon as possible.

The Board has established a recommendation, approved by the Council at its 30th special session in June 2005, in relation to abuses of child labour in cocoa growing.

One of the many important functions of the Consultative Board is to review and make recommendations on the many ongoing and proposed projects within ICCO, pursuant to its mandate to work towards a sustainable cocoa economy.

Details of the work of the Board can be found in the documents that are downloadable here.

The World Cocoa Market

ICCO constantly follows and analyses the world cocoa market. Each month, recent developments in the market are reviewed together with longer-term trends and forecasts. Any findings resulting from studies and analyses are subsequently translated into recommendations and action. These includeinitiatives to work in co-operation with governments in cocoa producing countries to improve the provision of cocoa market information to smallholder cocoa farmers.

Monthly Reviews

The Monthly Review of the world cocoa market situation provides an update on developments for the preceding month. It concentrates on prices, but also gives information on recent developments in production, grindings, stocks and prices of semi-finished products. The review also contains the latest estimates of production and grindings for the current season. You can find the latest Monthly Review here.

Long-term analyses

Each year, the ICCO Secretariat prepares a document on long-term trends in the world cocoa market, including production and consumption. The document also presents analyses of underlying trend factors, such as areas under cultivation, developments in productivity, pest and disease incidences, etc. Ad hoc studies and analyses are also provided on the functioning of the world market as a whole and on selected market aspects. The latest assessments of the movements of global supply and demand are contained on this site.

Forecasts

At least every two years, the ICCO Secretariat prepares an analysis of five-year forecasts on projected developments in the world cocoa economy, covering prices, production, grindings and stocks. These analyses are based on the ICCO econometric model for the world cocoa economy and include production projections in the major cocoa producing countries. Annual forecasts of production and consumption and estimates of stocks and the supply/demand balance in the world cocoa market are contained on this site.

Cocoa Consumption

In a meaningful concept of sustainability, consumption is of equal importance to production. The complement to sustainable production is sustainable consumption, or rather, securing the continuation of a steady increase in cocoa and chocolate consumption, as well as the sustainable conversion of cocoa beans into semi-finished and final products for the consumer.

Consumption Trends

The ICCO regularly analyses trends in consumption as part of its study of the world cocoa market, and the latest edition of its report on the entire market is available for download here. More short-term market analyses, concentrating on grindings, are available by clicking the Statistics tab and looking at the Grindings or Monthly Review options.

  1. icon Cocoa Market Situation – 24 July 2014
  2. icon The World Cocoa Economy: Past and Present – 30 July 2010
  3. icon The World Cocoa Economy: Past and Present, 26 July 2012

Health & Nutrition

Food health and nutritional attributes have, in recent years, been of increasing concern to consumers as well as to food and health authorities. Developments in obesity, including those among children, have highlighted the importance of diet and a healthy lifestyle. The ICCO has devised an inventory of the positive health and nutritional attributes of cocoa and chocolate. This inventory concludes in a comprehensive and correct manner the clear message that chocolate, when consumed in moderation, can form part of a wholesome, well balanced, healthy and nutritional diet. You can find the inventory on health and nutrition here.

Cocoa Production

The ICCO’s attention to cocoa production is the mirror image of its work on cocoa consumption. Issues such as the environment, as well as economic and social sustainability play prominent roles in cocoa production. Cocoa is predominantly a smallholder crop, as more than 90% of world cocoa production originates from small farms. In Africa and Asia, a typical smallholder cocoa farm covers only 2 to 5 hectares of land.

Trends in Production

An overview of trends in production is included in the annual analysis on the world cocoa market (which can be accessed here). Analyses of factors underlying the growth of cocoa production are hindered by a lack of knowledge of the available cocoa resources in cocoa producing countries. Such a lack of knowledge also limits the development of rational policies in cocoa producing countries. Hence the ICCO encourages producer countries to improve the basic knowledge of the cocoa resource base.

Sustainability

This area comprises: production policies for sustainability, efforts to improve the functioning of the cocoa supply chain, preservation of the environment in cocoa production, diversification, etc. The Consultative Board is currently reviewing a number of project proposals that have been tailored to address the need to achieve sustainable cocoa production.

Pests and Diseases

Cocoa pests and diseases have a very negative effect on annual cocoa production, requiring much more natural resources (land) than would normally be the case without such losses. Resistant planting material can greatly reduce crop losses, as can best practice in farming techniques. Special efforts appear to be essential in order to prevent and contain the international and global spread of cocoa pests and diseases. For these reasons, the Secretariat has been involved with a number of stakeholders in developing projects aimed at dealing with the spread of pest and diseases.

Production Costs

Acquiring a better insight into the costs of cocoa production, trade and exports in different countries and regions has been considered by the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy, as the Board views such information as one of the building blocks for a sustainable cocoa economy.

Cocoa Quality

The importance of improving cocoa quality through the chain has been clearly recognized through the work of the Consultative Board and the Expert Working Group on Food safety, Cocoa Productivity and Quality and this has been highlighted in the “Total Quality” Project.

This project, which was implemented on a pilot basis in Côte d’Ivoire for three years, aimed at achieving “total quality” through traceability and improvement of the efficiency of the supply chain.

More information can be found here.