Cocoa smallholder decision-making and supply chain sustainability initiatives in West Africa

2017 marked a moment of renewed ambition and vigor around sustainable supply chain initiatives in the cocoa sector, through the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI). Establishing commitments to reduce cocoa-driven deforestation while improving farmer livelihoods, the CFI provides a basis for coordinated action among the public and private sector. Smallholders play an integral role in reaching conservation and sustainability outcomes. Yet, they continue to face systemic constraints to adopting and adhering to better practices.

The extent to which supply chain commitments such as the CFI are operationalized in smallholder systems to motivate long-term behavior change and adoption is difficult to assess. There is a need to understand better when and why farmers adopt (or do not adopt) certain practices, and the factors that influence their decision-making. Furthermore, how to effectively scale interventions to reach farmers that are not receiving support remains unclear.

Climate Focus, on behalf of the Meridian Institute, is contributing to enhancing the effectiveness of company Supply Chain Sustainability Initiatives (SSI) in the cocoa sector in Ghana und Côte d’Ivoire by:

  1. Assessing the enabling factors and barriers to SSIs in smallholder cocoa system
  2. Developing, based on this analysis, an assessment framework against which progress towards the achievement of individual SSIs and the Cocoa and Forest Initiative (CFI) goals could be measured

This project is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Walmart Foundation via the Supply Chain Sustainability Research Fund.