WACOT Limited

WACOT and Cocoasource Forge Strategic Alliance for Sustainable Cocoa Trading

WACOT Limited, a member of the Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group and leading agro-allied company in Nigeria, and Cocoasource, a Swiss commodity trading company, have entered into a strategic alliance to supply Rainforest Alliance Certified Cocoa to global bean processing companies and chocolate makers.

Rainforest Alliance Certified Cocoa is cocoa beans that are verified to have been grown sustainably. They are also deemed to have been produced in a way that supports social, economic, and environmental pillars to build economic opportunities and better working conditions for rural people.

In this partnership, Cocoasource is set to acquire 2,000 tons from WACOT in 500-ton batches over one year, possibly bothextending the duration and increasing the quantity.

WACOT will provide cocoa through its Cocoa Sustainability programme primarily in South-west Nigeria – Oyo, Ogun and Osun State. The programme features registration and creation of smallholder farming groups of cocoa producers who declared all their cocoa farms to WACOT for mapping and tracking. About 3,500 farmers are part of the programme, with over 6000 hectares estimated to produce of 3000MT of cocoa annually.

The farmers have access to inputs such as improved varieties of cocoa and shade tree seedlings as well as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and capacity building training on (GAP), Good Environment Practices (GEP), Good Social Practices (GSP) and yield enhancement techniques (YET) to boost the quality of the cocoa at harvest.

Yosola Onanuga, TGI Group’s Head of Sustainability, commented on the partnership and stated, “Partnering with Cocoasource is a reiteration of the Group’s commitment towards sustainability. Just like we do with other value chains, we are fostering a sustainable and responsible cocoa ecosystem, not just trading cocoa.”

She further reiterated how the cocoa sustainability programme supports farmers. “The guaranteed procuring of cocoa at prevailing market prices, with immediate cash payments, and annual anticipated Premium Payment on the volume of cocoa sold by the farmers (Sustainability Differential – An extra cash on sustainable cocoa sold) bolsters the farmers’ confidence in the programme. In the last four years, the company has supported tens of thousands of farmers,” She added.

Cocoasource’s Sustainability Manager, Martin Rossi, emphasised the need for connecting directly with cocoa producers to ensure transparency.

“At Cocoasource, we believe in direct connections with cocoa producers, and our collaboration with WACOT aligns perfectly with this vision. This alliance is about transactions and building a more sustainable and transparent cocoa supply chain,” he said.

Under the terms of this alliance, Cocoasource will distribute Rainforest Alliance Certified Cocoa acquired from WACOT to its clients, including renowned entities such as GCB and Hershey. 

Operational details discussed included WACOT’s traceability flow chart, highlighting the role of Licensed Buying Agents (LBAs) and the direct deposit of premiums into cocoa farmers’ bank accounts. The meeting also addressed various operational aspects across different crop origins and certifications beyond Rainforest Alliance, such as Fair Trade and Regenerative Organic Certification.

The alliance will also involve a work plan and intensive training for cocoa farmers in WACOT’s outgrower programme. 

WACOT and Cocoasource expressed optimism about extending their partnership beyond the 2,000 tons of certified cocoa beans and introducing WACOT to additional clients sourcing cocoa from Nigeria.

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