Ecuador is the world’s third largest cocoa exporter, with more than 400,000 tonnes exported in 2021, equivalent to 9% of world exports. It is also the leading producer country in Latin America. In 2021, the EU REDD Facility supported Ecuador’s cocoa sector by facilitating a national dialogue to develop the concept and a roadmap for the implementation of a traceability and transparency system for the cocoa value chain. The designed system includes tracking and assessing deforestation risks. The Facility’s support included informing relevant stakeholders of the technical and institutional feasibility of developing and implementing such a system.
Two major challenges for the implementation of the traceability and transparency system were identified during the participatory diagnosis process:
A cocoa farmer brings his cocoa beans to a purchase centre.
The EU REDD Facility aimed to identify the legal bases for a possible governance mechanism for the cocoa chain and develop a traceability methodology starting with intermediaries and traders.
To achieve this objective, the study focused on two aspects:
The main results of the Facility’s activities are:
In the traceability system, trader defines their strategy for registering cocoa farmers. In general, the most opportune moment for the trader and intermediary to register the largest number of farmers is when the farmer takes the cocoa to be sold to the collection or purchase centre. The trader can use advertising material, encouraging and inviting farmers to register.