Ivorian cocoa traders denounce competition from multinationals

Ivorian cocoa producers in a plantation near Sinfra, central region of Côte d'Ivoire, October 12, 2019. ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

Text by: RFI Follow

Ivorian cocoa traders are raising an alarm cry against competition from multinationals established in the country.


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Local exporters fear going bankrupt if the majors do not give them the opportunity to continue their activity and they urge the national regulator of the sector to remain vigilant. The slow suffocation of local bean export companies is done through “certified sustainable” cocoa .

Certified cocoa is a delight for planters in Côte d'Ivoire ... Cocoa farmers who apply sustainable production methods sell the kilo of beans at a price higher than that of conventional cocoa, which is 825 CFA francs this year.

But certification is excluding local exporters. The premium paid to the producer has whetted the appetites of the multinationals. According to the Grouping of Ivorian cocoa traders, the big chocolate makers sign contracts for certified cocoa only with the big groups present in Côte d'Ivoire: 97% of the premiums are " exclusively granted to 7 multinationals ".

For two or even three years, these majors have been doing everything to definitively exclude local operators from the certified cocoa market ... And sometimes cooperatives sell all their production of conventional cocoa to the majors.

Local operators are therefore in agony. According to the GNI, the national players in the export and processing of beans expect the Coffee Cocoa Council, the national regulator of the sector, to do its job to protect them.

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