Who We Are

According to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), the concept of 'sustainability' encompasses social, economic and environmental dimensions in both production and consumption. Although there has been a considerable research focus and investment on the technical issues of productivity over the years, less attention has been given to the farmers economic, social context, culture and policy, and it has often been assumed they have sufficient resources and incentives to implement technical advances. Unfortunately, however, a consequence of this has been that often research outcomes and recommendations are not easily adopted by farmers, partly because they lack financial incentives to invest in new technologies, or the technologies are too expensive or culturally different from what the farmer is used to doing and hence not easily acceptable and adoptable for farmers.

There is thus an urgent need to address the social, cultural and economic issues which have contributed to:

  • Low adoption levels of best farm management practices, often resulting in wide yield gaps between potential and actual farm yields.
  • Ageing farmers and labour shortages as women and youth fail to be engaged.
  • High levels of poverty and unacceptable labour practices, low levels of education and poor health among cocoa farmers and their families.
  • Failing or inappropriate policies to address the social, cultural and economic aspects in the sector.

drying cocoa in the sun

Drying cocoa beans in the sun

Our Goals

  1. Create a forum for researchers to share priorities, ideas and their ongoing work, results and publications promoting the welfare of farmers and cocoa growing communities.
  2. Collaborate with other disciplines and INCOCOA groups to encourage farmer-oriented research.
  3. Examine policy to enhance profits and sustainability for cocoa farmers.
  4. Promote the translation and dissemination of knowledge and research results to farmers and other stakeholders.
  5. Collaborate on global and regional research.