An initiative to create a shared value platform for sustainable Ghanaian cocoa supply chains initiated by Google Food Team, the Future Food Institute (FFI) the International Trade Centre (ITC) with knowledge support from Business School Lausanne (BSL).
Chocothon has kicked off its first mission in series of events that aim 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. Derived from the term “hackathon” and like its namesake, the Chocothon initiative will bring together diverse players to create a shared value platform for a sustainable cocoa supply chain.
Chocothon initiators acknowledge cocoa as one of the commodities that presents a range of significant environmental and social sustainability challenges that could ultimately lead to disruption of global supply. “Chocolate makes people happy, it cannot be that this product cease to exist due to unsustainable farming and sourcing practices. Technology will enhance traceability in sourcing cocoa and transforming for a better future for all stakeholders in the entire value chain,” says Thomas Camenzind of Google Food Team. Partner institution hope that by gathering stakeholders in the cocoa value chain to work together in ensuring sustainable production, community development, sourcing strategy and effective day-to-day operations, benefit all involved in the chocolate supply chain, from farmer to consumers, will benefit. The project spans nine months and will cross the globe, bringing together farmers, international cocoa sourcers, partner organizations and outside participants to join forces to empower and connect the Ghanaian cocoa farmers promoting a shared value sustainable cocoa supply chain.
Phase I, Mission 1: 5 Days of Chocothon
The five day event started with an overview of cocoa farming practices in Ghana and perspective on the international sustainable market of cocoa followed by a workshop on sustainable cocoa-market related tools. Day three has been dedicated to a presentation of tech solutions currently available to Ghanaian cocoa farmers in the international cocoa supply chain. The culminating events has been a two-day “Chocothon” hackathon attended by Ghanaian software and application developers to create innovative tech solutions for a sustainable, international cocoa supply chain; and running in parallel a training done by local beneficiaries to local farmers and companies on sustainable practices applied to the cocoa sector. Aileen Ionescu-Somer of the Business School Lausanne shares, “We urgently need to find new solutions to secure cocoa supplies and the livelihoods of cocoa farmers. The Chocothon is a great opportunity to broker knowledge, help overcome challenges and accelerate efforts of all stakeholders so that the world can still enjoy chocolate and cocoa products for many years to come.”
Results: Share Knowledge, Empower Producers and Connect Stakeholders
Because “true impact” is only achieved through consensus, compromise and cooperation, Chocothon uses measurable goals to achieve the above three objectives. As Sandra Cabrera of the International Trade Center sees it,“As a joint agency of United Nations and WTO, there is a very high potential to join forces with private and public sector organizations along the cocoa supply chain. All actors will benefit in collaborating through multi-stakeholder and pre-competitive platforms, promoting transparency along supply chains and working together towards innovative strategies making sustainable trade a reality.”
Share Knowledge works to organize crowdsourcing experiences, share technical expertise and build a community around cocoa-themed issues through a series of conferences, workshops and meetings to 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.
Empower Producers means giving voice to cocoa farmers, building trust along the cocoa supply chain by helping highlight cocoa famers suitable for sustainable cocoa production, and helping farmers to tackle the problems they face by developing customized training and tools that contribute to solving the sustainability challenges they experience.
Connect Stakeholders brings actors together to develop public online and offline tools that can engage and interest Ghanaian young people with technology expertise 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.
Support for the Chocothon objective can be given through patronage on various levels and will be managed by food and beverage crowdfunding platform, Crowdfooding. Says Crowdfooding founder and CEO Alessio D’Antino, “Chocolate is at the edge of extinction and we’re very thrilled to support Chocothon in the endeavour of helping cocoa farmers to leverage technology to better manage their harvesting and improve their quality of work. In line with the open spirit of Chocothon, I strongly believe we can harness the power of the crowd to empower any individual to do their share to keep enjoying our beloved chocolate.” Involved companies will benefit from co-development of a neutral platform that offers a ground-breaking approach in connecting and engaging with suppliers, thus helping to secure long-term sustainable supply chain access. For more information about involvement, contact: email@example.com
Additional Chocothon events are scheduled for May 22nd to 26th and August 28 to September 1, 2017.