Oikocredit invests € 7 million to support smallholder cocoa producers in Côte d’Ivoire
Amersfoort, the Netherlands – Social impact investor Oikocredit has provided loans to two cocoa cooperatives and one exporter in Côte d’Ivoire. The three credit lines will help export the 2020-21 cocoa production for up to 35,000 smallholder farmers.
Oikocredit provided loans to the following cocoa partners:
- € 3.5 million to Entreprise Coopérative Kimbe (Ecookim), a union of cocoa cooperatives and a leading Côte d’Ivoire exporter of certified cocoa
- € 2.5 million to Ocean SA, a cocoa exporter
- € 1 million to Socak Katana, a cocoa cooperative.
Partnership with Ecookim
With the Oikocredit loan, Ecookim will procure, process and export cocoa from its member cooperatives across Southern and Western Cote d’Ivoire. This loan will allow Ecookim to pay advances to its cooperatives who then in turn provide prepayment advances to their farmers.
Over the past 15 years, Ecookim has grown to include more than 32,000 smallholder cocoa and cashew producers operating on farms of approximately 105,000 mapped hectares. Thanks to its Fairtrade and UTZ certifications, Ecookim offers technical and capacity building assistance on good agricultural practices, good cooperative management techniques, as well as good social and environmental practices. Ecookim thus contributes to the wellbeing of its members and their families by installing basic community services and infrastructure, as well as diversifying their sources of income. The cocoa union has been an Oikocredit partner since 2016.
Partnership with Ocean
With a loan from Oikocredit, Ocean will procure, process and export cocoa beans of cooperative farmers. During the four years of partnership with Oikocredit, the cocoa trader has been able to double its traded volumes of Fairtrade and UTZ certified cocoa as well as expand its outreach to new cocoa farmers in the Southwestern region of Côte d’Ivoire. Funding from Oikocredit has helped to strengthen Ocean’s delivery capacity to Cocoasource, its Swiss-based main buyer, and to support its affiliated cooperatives to source certified cocoa for other buyers.
Partnership with Socak Katana
The cocoa cooperative will use the Oikocredit loan for the procurement, transport, storage and export of Fairtrade cocoa beans. An Oikocredit partner since 2017, Socak Katana has matured into a well-organised, licensed cocoa exporter. During the partnership, the cooperative membership has grown from 1,380 to 3,085 members. An active player in the fight against deforestation, the cooperative has mapped over 90% of its members plantations to ensure that no cocoa bean from Socak Katana comes from a classified forest.
Diane Potey, Investment Officer West Africa at Oikocredit, said: “By providing smallholder-cooperatives with access to affordable financing, Oikocredit supports the growing needs of smallholder farmers for funding. In addition, we help our cocoa partners to strengthen their capacities in financial management, risk management and agricultural practices. Combining funding and capacity building is an important building block to achieve higher social impact in the cocoa sector.”
Social impact investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit has 45 years of experience funding organisations active in financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy.
Oikocredit’s loans, equity investments and capacity building aim to enable people on low incomes in Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve their living standards sustainably.
Oikocredit finances close to 700 partners, with total outstanding capital of € 856 million (as at 30 September 2020). For more information see: www.oikocredit.coop.
Note for editors
For more information or to request an interview, please contact Jasmin Panjeta, Communications Business Partner, Oikocredit International, telephone: +31 33 422 4040, email: firstname.lastname@example.org .