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Friday, 06 September 2013

Cameroon refurbishes cocoa drying ovens to meet EU rules

Cameroon has begun refurbishing old cocoa ovens in an effort to comply with tougher European Union (EU) quality rules, after the bloc rejected about 2,000 tonnes of beans last year due to smoke contamination.
"This is part of the campaign to promote good practices in cocoa drying," Omer Gatien Maledy, executive secretary of Cameroon's Cocoa and Coffee Interprofessional Board (CCIB) said.
The EU, top buyer of Cameroonian cocoa, rejected 2,000 tonnes of beans in December saying they contained high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). The compounds, found in cocoa which has been dried over smoky fires or on sticky tarmac, present cancer risks. On 1 April, Brussels introduced a stricter rule on PAH contamination.
Cameroon cocoa authorities said early this year that the cracked ovens, originally donated by the EU, would be refurbished and that tarpaulins would be distributed to farmers for sun drying their beans instead of doing so on tarmac.
The EU bought 88% of the over 196 tonnes of cocoa which Cameroon exported in the 2012/2013 season.

Source: EurActiv