At MSC, we recently hosted a panel discussion about the Côte d'Ivoire local cocoa processing, supply chain and export during the 8th Cocoa and Chocolate Days (JNCC) at the Ebrié Room of the Heden Golf Hotel in Abidjan.
The National Cocoa and Chocolate Days, which was organised by the Coffee and Cocoa Council took place between 30 September and 2 October under the theme "local processing, opportunities for chocolate artisans".
The industry event gathered many industry players in cocoa in Côte d'Ivoire during the three days.
During our discussion, we deep dived into the consequences of the local cocoa processing on the supply chain and export.
Each panellist made a valuable contribution that reflects the ownership of the issues and support for the public policy that aims to transform half of Ivorian production by 2025.
Kicking off the panel discussion, Mr. Yves Koné Brahima, Director General of the Coffee and Cocoa Council point out how the council hopes to reach a grinding capacity of 1,072,000 tons by 2023, or more than 50%, and they have set a new target of 100% in 2030. He continued to say: “Our ambition is to go beyond grinding to develop the chocolate industry in our country. On the value scale, 72% goes to the chocolate industry, brands and distribution. We must ensure that our country can access this essential segment of the value chain.”
Speaking during the discussion Mr. Michel Manlan representing the Minister of Commerce, Industry and SMEs commented: "The processing of cocoa into semi-finished products has increased thanks to a set of mechanisms put in place since the 2016-2017 campaign. These included making reserves on production for local processing, removing the adjustment of certain items in the price scale for the benefit of grinders, and returning to the mechanism of the Single Exit Duty differentiated, applied to processed cocoa products. This is in addition to the investment code and the availability of energy, which makes Côte d'Ivoire one of the most attractive countries in the region.”
Speaking to the required policy adjustments, Mrs. Françoise Mariame Koné Bédié, GEPEX's Executive Director, added: "We are committed to working with the government to make this local processing ambition a success. We also advocate that the agreement with the State on benefit of the Single Duty of Exit is differentiated for types of semi-finished products from the processing of cocoa may be further extended to accelerate efforts and strengthen investment in processing. I also hope for the development of local consumption and encourage local actors to show creativity.
Mr. Fabio Politi, Managing Director at MSC Côte d'Ivoire went to highlight our involvement and commitment as a company. He said that our role at MSC is to connect consumers to producers by making trade possible and thus creating prosperity for countries and their people. At MSC we will therefore continue to support Ivorian cocoa in this local processing approach by providing tailored transport solutions that reach cocoa customers where they are. There will be no transition for MSC, which is ready with real expertise to offer logistics solutions that allow for the processing of both cocoa beans and semi-finished or finished products such as cocoa powder, butter or liquor.
The audience comprised of cocoa industry professionals who shared their challenges and reaffirmed the support for the government's approach and broader commitment to industrialise the country and accelerate job creation.
Given that 70% of the world's cocoa beans come from four West African countries, namely Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon, this sector is a major focus for us at MSC. Through this discussion as industry leaders in cocoa container transport in Côte d'Ivoire, we reaffirmed our commitment to the economic development of Côte d'Ivoire and reinforces our position as a logistics partner of choice in Africa.