Liberian Cocoa for the Global Market

Sunday, December 16, 2007

HCCO and GTZ to promote the cocoa sector

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (German Technical Cooperation, GTZ) GmbH, the Hamburg Cocoa & Commodity Office GmbH (H.C.C.O.) and the Liberia Commodity Export Company (LCEC) are cooperating in Liberia. They are working together to strengthen the cocoa sector, a casualty of years of civil war. Better production and living conditions for at least 10,000 cocoa farmers and their families are to be established and new ways of marketing Liberian cocoa developed. The project is organised as a public-private partnership (PPP) and will be jointly planned, financed and implemented by the project partners. The project’s total volume comes to about EUR 1.7 million. The public share, amounting to nearly EUR 800,000, is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Peter Conze, Director General of GTZ’s Africa Department: “The cocoa trade is extremely important for Liberia. We want to revive it, which means beginning at many points concurrently. Liberia needs support in production and marketing, but at the same time must solve serious social and communal problems. Working with companies, development cooperation can achieve a great deal here.”

During the war, the country’s transportation and storage infrastructures were systematically destroyed, and more than 350,000 people fled. The farmlands have been left fallow for the most part. Cocoa production – one of the country’s chief exports – has shrunk since 1989 by around 6 percent. The project is to introduce improved farming methods and higher quality standards for storage and processing, promote the reforestation of former plantations and create the necessary structures for quality control, certification and marketing of cocoa cultivated by environmentally sustainable methods.

The project also involves the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture: a national strategy for cocoa produced by organic faming methods is to be developed jointly with the ministry. The project also takes an active part in combating child labour and promotes public health measures, especially through an HIV/AIDS awareness-raising campaign.
GTZ: As an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations, the federally owned Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH supports the German Government in achieving its development-policy objectives. It provides viable, forward-looking solutions for political, economic, ecological and social development in a globalised world. Often working under difficult conditions, GTZ promotes complex reforms and change processes. Its corporate objective is to improve people’s living conditions on a sustainable basis.

Founded in early 2001, H.C.C.O today serves a number of well-recognized clients in the chocolate and confectionery industry. As a competent and experienced partner of the industry in the supply of cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor and cocoa powder, H.C.C.O also assists selected suppliers from overseas in the marketing of cocoa beans and cocoa products.

The strategic planning of the supply management as well as the consultancy for interaction with the terminal markets (LIFFE and NYBOT) and arranging of raw material financing are further centres of competence and activity.

Source: GTZ