The private sector is increasingly aware that sustainable production and community development need to be at the core of corporate sourcing strategy as well as day-to-day operations.
Cocoa is one of the commodities that presents a range of significant environmental and social sustainability challenges that could ultimately lead to disruption of global supply. However, no one company, and indeed, no one stakeholder linked to the cocoa value chain can solve these issues on their own.
Based on the imperative that ‘true impact’ is only achieved through consensus, compromise and cooperation, the International Trade Center (ITC) and Google Food Lab (GFL), together with other participating partners (Googlers Give Global Leadership Program, BSL-Business School Lausanne, Future Food Institute, Food Inspiration Magazine, Nestle and Barry Callebaut), would now like to join forces with as many relevant companies as possible linked to the cocoa value chain. The aim is to empower and connect Ghanaian cocoa farmers, assure sustainable supply and create new opportunities for them and other value chain stakeholders in cocoa production while reducing supply disruption risks.
The ambition is to promote a shared value sustainable cocoa supply chain platform, initially launching a “CHOCOTHON” initiative. The term “Chocothon” is derived from “Hackathon”, which is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software innovation projects. Although one of its objectives is ultimately to envisage software solutions to reduce sustainability challenges, the innovative and collaborative Chocothon initiative has several other objectives:
Organize crowdsourcing experiences, share technical expertise, and develop approaches to identifying and solving potential obstacles to achievement of the platform imperative: Shared value within sustainable cocoa supply chains. Conferences, workshops and meetings will allow the exchange of ideas, identification of challenges as well as the coordination of development and implementation of solutions that will benefit the platform members.
Raise awareness; build a local community around cocoa-themed issues and discover new potential partners which commit to “shared value within sustainable cocoa supply chains”.
The voices of cocoa farmers need to be heard and their interests taken into account. This is a key success factor for companies that wish to secure a network of technically knowledgeable and empowered farmers to supply them with sustainable cocoa. The platform will build trust along the cocoa supply chain by helping to identify suitable farmer profiles for sustainable cocoa production. It will also help farmers to tackle the problems they face by developing customized training and tools that contribute to solving the sustainability challenges they are experiencing.
Measurable Goal: Engage cocoa farmers in this platform to train them on the issues that will contribute to improving their livelihoods and empower them to produce and trade sustainably with the downstream actors in the Ghanaian cocoa supply chain.
Bring actors together using cutting edge technology, by developing global public online tools and offline solutions such as applications that tackle obstacles to connecting upstream to downstream actors in the cocoa supply chain.
Measurable Goal: Engage and interest Ghanaian young people with technology expertise in this space to develop business-ready tech prototypes and launch start-ups; to develop social, policy, or business ideas that contribute to solving the challenges identified and serve as a means of connecting actors in the Ghanaian cocoa supply chain that are sharing value and operating sustainably
Chocothon Phase I, Mission 1 is scheduled from 18th - 22nd January 2017 in Accra/Ghana.
Chocothon Phase I, Mission 2 is scheduled from May 22nd to 26th, 2017
Chocothon phase II will take place in August/September 2017.