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Tuesday, 06 July 2010

New Cocoa Agreement Is a Sweet One, Producers Say

The new international cocoa agreement will provide a positive shake-up in the cocoa market and ensure better prices for stakeholders, including small farmers. It also strengthens the participation of civil society and the private sector in the cocoa industry, according to Guy-Alain Emmanuel Gauze, Côte d’Ivoire’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva and president of the UN cocoa conference. The conference, which ended on Jun 25 in Geneva, negotiated an agreement which will replace the current one in 2012. The global export value of cocoa beans for 2009/2010 is estimated at some 10 billion dollars. Côte d’Ivoire is the main producer in the world -- 40 percent of total production -- with Ghana in second place. Gauze regards the new agreement as "objective and balanced" as it strengthens the role of the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) and puts in place measures to achieve fair prices for the suppliers, including small farmers, transporters and exporters, and the consumers, including value-adders, importers, industrialists, negotiators and buyers. ICCO is the organisation that administers and supervises the operation of the agreement. Cocoa has been one of the rare soft commodities, together with coffee, that has resisted the effects of the economic and financial crisis of 2008-2009. In 2009, prices increased between 30 and 60 percent on the London and New York markets.

Source: Inter Press News Service Agency