TRACAO - Evaluate the feasibility of a traceability and transparency system in the cocoa sector in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana

September 2020
February 2021
Project cost
50 000 €
Role in the project
Cocoa, forest, market, certification expertises


Côte d’Ivoire Ghana


Agriculture Organic Agriculture Agroforestry Climate Forest Market REDD+



Main goals

In the context of growing demand from consumer countries to ensure that the cocoa they import does not come from deforested areas and respect minimum sustainability standards, the REDD + unit of the European Forest Insistute (EFI) entrusted Nitidæ with this study to assess the feasibility of a traceability and transparency system to reduce the risks of deforestation, child labor and guarantee a decent income for cocoa producers.

Specific objectives

SO1. Evaluate existing public and private traceability systems and standards, labels and sustainability programs in the cocoa sector
SO2. Suggest avenues for improvement and investment for a system of traceability and transparency in the sector at the scale of pilot territories


Define proposals for sustainable jurisdictional approaches for cocoa in Côte d'Ivoire in order to build a multi-stakeholder and multi-scale strategy to invest in the issue of sustainability beyond the cocoa value-chain and thus tackle the root of the problems.

The strategy (REDD+ in the few remaining forests, territorial certification at regional level, targeted investments to facilitate ongoing reforms...) is detailed by prioritizing actions and by articulating the international, national, jurisdictional and local scales for the areas at high risk of deforestation. Pilot regions in which this approach could be tested are identified on the basis of their forest cover, the previous involvement of regional authorities in planning processes or sustainable management of natural resources, regional cocoa production... To support the establishment of territorial certifications, the useful indicators are detailed as well as the many existing sources.

Bagging of cocoa beans for delivery to the port at the start of the cooperative (Divo, 2017)

Carry out the analysis and benchmark of sustainable development initiatives in the Ivorian and Ghanaian cocoa supply chains.

Flow diagram and traceability control points


Produce a study on the current state of private and public traceability and transparency systems in cocoa supply chains in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.

It highlights the challenges of reliable traceability at the first mile level (from producer to first buyer) and concludes that only approaches of traceability based on a minimum of transparency have a chance of being reliable.

From the early stages, batch separation is not always applied

This report analyzes the evolutions and criteria of sustainability approaches (independent label, company program, international standards, national policies...) existing in the cocoa sector. First translated into an approach based on independent labels, sustainability was then integrated into internal company programs and then into international standards or public policies. These changes in form do not make possible to remove the technical obstacles limiting good monitoring of sustainability (measurement and monitoring of deforestation, estimation of forest cover, governance between cooperatives and buyers) and ultimately have little impact on the content of the sustainability definition. The approaches remain focused on reforming the sector while most sustainability issues (child labor, deforestation, producer income) take root elsewhere. This report thus concludes that the main issues linked to deforestation (but also to child labor, often present in the same territories) are played out at the level of public policies and the regulatory capacities of communities. In this sense, it recommends working on models of territorial and/or jurisdictional certification by identifying a series of relevant sustainability indicators (according to the Landscale approach) and the corresponding databases, which could be monitored at the scale of the territories.

Related people

Project officer / Agriculture & Market / France

Pierre Ricau

Holder of a Master Degree in "Agricultural Development and Economic Policies" from the Institute of Development Studies (IEDES), Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne University and AgroParisTech. He brings his expertise in agricultural market analysis (especially cashew, sesame, shea, cocoa, hevea, corn, rice and onion), development of agro-food sectors, training engineering and consultancy on public agricultural/agro-industrial policies

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Matthieu Tiberghien

Holder of a Master's degree in Management from the Paris-Dauphine University and a Master in "Social Policies and Planning in developing Countries" from the London School of Economics, he brings his expertise in project building and project management in renewable energy, REDD+, technical engineering, economic and financial due diligence, business development, strategic partnerships, fundraising and human ressources management

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Project Manager / France

Clovis Grinand

PhD in Functional Ecology and Agronomic Sciences (SupAgro, IRD and CIRAD) and specialized in Localized Information Systems for Spatial Planning (AgroParisTech), he is an expert in land use change monitoring using remote sensing, digital soil mapping and spatial modeling applied to forestry, agronomy and landscape ecology. He is the author of numerous international scientific publications.

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Cédric Rabany

Holder of a Master of Science, "Agricultural Engineer and territories development" from the Institut Supérieur d’Agriculture (ISARA Lyon), he brings his expertise in agro-food/agricultural sectors' analysis and development, strengthening of supplychain actors (producers, private/public actors, agro-food industries...), socio-economic analysis of agricultural chains and his great knowledge of companies in these markets

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Country representative in Côte d'Ivoire

Benjamin Garnier

Agricultural Engineer, specialised in "quality of the environment and resources management", from the French National School of Agricultural Science and Engineering of Toulouse (INP ENSAT). He brings his expertise in feasibility studies for investment funds, agricultural markets studies and analysis of value chains

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Agricultural Markets Analyst / Côte d'Ivoire

Constance Konan

A graduate in international business, Constance held several positions in agribusiness (UNIVELER, SITA-SA, etc.) before joining Nitidæ where she brings her knowledge of Ivorian value chains and her experience in market analysis, notably on the cereals market. She also coordinates a project linking family farming with retailers

Project Manager / Agriculture & Market / France

Julien Gonnet

Holder of a Professional Master II in Sustainable Development from the University of Geneva and a Master I in Geography from the University of Jean Moulin, he brings his expertise in project building and project management on agricultural markets, the use of ICT within the agriculture sector, the implementation of certification (organic, fair...) and engineering training

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