Fifth Meeting of the Working Group

 

 

REPORT OF THE WORKING GROUP ON THE       

SECOND ROUNDTABLE FOR A SUSTAINABLE COCOA ECONOMY (RSCE2)

FIFTH MEETING

 

 

Monday 12 January 2009 from 15.00 – 18.00 hrs

 

 

 

I.        Opening of the Meeting

1.      The 5th meeting of the RSCE Working Group was chaired by Mr. Tony Lass (UK), one of the two Co-chairs of the Working Group. Mr. Lass opened the meeting and welcomed all participants and expressed regrets on behalf of those who were unable to attend. The list of participants is attached as an annex to this report.

II.       Adoption of Agenda

The draft agenda was adopted as detailed in RSCE2/WG/5/1.

III.      Progress report on the preparations for the Second Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy

2.      The Roundtable Co-ordinator presented progress made in the work towards the second Roundtable with reference to document EX-138-5 Progress Report on RSCE and reported several statistics: a) to date, 73 people had registered for the RSCE2 in Trinidad and Tobago, representing all stakeholder groups and regions; b) 34 people were booked into the Hyatt Regency Hotel; c) some 40 people had registered for the RSCE2 preparatory meeting; and d) over 1000 people visit the Roundtable website every month.

3.      Following a question to that effect, it was clarified that the results from the RSCE2 Preparatory Meeting in Abidjan from 10-12 February 2009 would be incorporated into the “Summary report from the RSCE2 Preparatory Meeting in Abidjan”, which would then be tabled as a RSCE2 Background Document in Trinidad and Tobago. Another question sought clarification on how to engage and make a presentation at the 2nd. Roundtable meeting in Trinidad and Tobago. A draft list of proposed speakers was distributed in the meeting and members were invited to comment on it. On the basis of the agreed list, those selected would specifically be contacted to make a presentation at the meeting.

4.      The Roundtable Co-ordinator reminded members of the Working Group that the special negotiated rates with the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad for delegates at the 2nd Roundtable would only be available until 21 February 2009 and stressed that even lower rates were on offer before 21 January 2009. It was confirmed that all related information would be displayed on the Roundtable website.

IV.     Discussion and endorsement of RSCE2 Background Documents

 

5.      The Chair thanked the RSCE2 Expert Groups and their leaders for the tremendous efforts they have put into the RSCE2 Background Documents. He explained that due to the very tight schedule, the translators whom ICCO and RSCE usually worked with and are familiar with the terminology, had had no spare capacity to translate the documents prior to the meeting. Comments from the Working Group prior to 15 January 2009 could therefore still be considered in the final version of documents for translation. After translation and revision, all RSCE2 Background Documents would be posted on the website for public discussion. Comments on the documents posted on the Roundtable website or made during the meetings would then be considered in a revised version of the documents after the RSCE2 in April 2009.

 

6.      RSCE2/2b “Modus operandi for the RSCE”: Mr. Tony Lass (leader of the Expert Group) apologized for the fact that the document was only distributed as a conference room paper and summarized its contents. A discussion and further refinement of the document was to follow. In comparison to most other sustainability initiatives, it was noted that the RSCE was in the advantageous position of being able to first set its objectives and then decide on a model of governance and ownership that would best serve its purpose. In spontaneous reactions to the document, some members suggested some possible models of governance as options, namely: a membership organization with members subscribing to principles; or maintaining the current status-quo of governance facilitated by ICCO.  The latter option (with ICCO as facilitator) was supported by some members, particularly in the earlier stages of the initiative.  Novel systems of governance, e.g. with a hybrid of models could also be considered as an option.  Reference information relating to other initiatives should be limited to context related details and displayed in bullet points and any unnecessary repetition of information relating to initiatives, across Background Documents, should be avoided. Some members supported the prospective employment of external advisors for future research and work carried out by the RSCE. The document did not go as far as discussing possible future objectives for the RSCE. It was agreed that these should be developed in a process following the RSCE Working Group meeting. Any conclusions drawn could be presented to the stakeholders at the RSCE2 in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

7.      RSCE2/3 “Guidelines on Best Known Practices in the Cocoa Value Chain”: Dr. Jean-Marc Anga (leader of the Expert Group) reported that all changes proposed in the meeting of the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy and from members of the RSCE2 Working Group would be included by Friday 16 January 2009. It had been agreed that the document should be entitled “guidelines” rather than a “manual”, due to its generic nature. Comments on the document included among others reference to quality control, the need to differentiate between quality and process control, the importance of the integrity of quality of cocoa throughout the value chain, the generic nature of the document to allow for adaptations according to regional conditions, the possible addition of responsibilities of stakeholders along the value chain, and the addition of a covering note indicating the process for future development of the document.

 

8.      RSCE2/4 “Sustainability Initiatives and the Challenge of Compliance”: Mr. Simon Schnetzer (leader of the Expert Group) presented a summary of the contents of the document. In the discussion that followed, several points were raised, namely that the viability of certification for mainstream cocoa would depend on the additional costs involved and on who would be bearing them; that for other commodities such as Palm Oil, certification in the mainstream has proven viable and beneficial for some producers; that with respect to the social component there were limits to the feasibility of certification; that the importance of “farmers being organized into groups” should be further stressed; and it was suggested that an agricultural insurance system as a governmental initiative could provide a panacea for farmers.

 

9.      RSCE2/5 “Study on Traceability and Tracking Compliance”: Mr. Tony Lass (leader of the Expert Group) apologized for the fact that the document had not been finalized prior to the meeting. It would however be finalized shortly after discussion within the Expert Group and would then be submitted to the Working Group for endorsement.

 

10.  RSCE2/6 “Social Issues”: Mme. Acquah Assouan Amouan (leader of the Expert Group) reported on the shortened version of the document and other changes that had been incorporated since the previous version of the document. The Chair commented on the document suggesting that it could be presented with a more optimistic tone than the rather pessimistic prospect expressed in the presented version. This is in view of the necessity to making good progress on this important issue in sustainable cocoa. Some concluding remarks would also be included in the document.

 

11.  RSCE2/7 “Draft Principles for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy”: Mr. Marcel Vernooij (leader of the Expert Group) presented the revised version of this document incorporating changes proposed by members of the Expert and Working Group. In the discussion that followed it was noted that uncertainty persisted regarding how the principles could be used or applied – this however would only be clarified at the 2nd Roundtable (RSCE2) in Trinidad and Tobago. Detailed discussions on Principles 3 and 4 suggested further modifications to reincorporate some elements from an earlier agreed version of the text. Mr. Vernooij would discuss the amendments with the respective members and find agreement for the appropriate language for both principles.

 

V.      Revised Programme for the 2nd Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy in Trinidad & Tobago, 24-26 March 2009

12.  The Roundtable Co-ordinator presented a revised programme for the second Roundtable meeting with reference to document RSCE2/1/Rev.2. Changes to the earlier programme reflected the need to allow for more time for discussion, to stimulate more interaction among stakeholders (including a session of the “world café” on the first day), and to concentrate the second day on focus group meetings.  No change to the seating arrangements would save time and make the best use of the three teams of interpreters. In a discussion of the programme it was clarified that the 2nd day with the topic “implementation of best known practices” would not be solely dedicated to the document entitled RSCE2/3 and that the programme for the 3rd day would be flexible in that it could be adapted, depending on the outcome of the 2nd day. The revised programme was thus adopted.

VI.     Update from the Organizing Committee in Trinidad & Tobago on the preparations of RSCE2

13.  Mrs. Patricia Maharaj, member of the RSCE2 Local Organizing Committee in Trinidad and Tobago, gave a detailed update on the preparations for the conference, including the opening ceremony, the cultural events, an evening reception, the conference translation services, the presentation of Trinidad and Tobago in the form of a video, and further details on the planned field trip illustrated with a draft brochure. The brochure included background information on the places of interest to be visited during the field trip and safety measures to be taken to avoid the transmission of any cocoa pests or diseases to and from other cocoa producing countries. The Chair and members of the Working Group thanked Mrs. Maharaj and Trinidad and Tobago for her country’s excellent support in hosting and facilitating the meeting, the generous support, both financially and in-kind, and the good preparations for safety precautions.

VII.    Update on the preparations for the RSCE2 Preparatory Meeting in Abidjan

14.  Mme. Acquah, Co-chair of the Working Group, gave an update on the preparations for the RSCE2 Preparatory Meeting, which will be held in Abidjan from 10-12 February 2009. The focus of this preparatory meeting would be on the experiences and challenges of cocoa stakeholders - farmers in particular - along the value chain. The government of Côte d’Ivoire would provide excellent meeting facilities at the Caisse de Stabilisation (CAISTAB) in Abidjan, Plateau. All necessary meeting requirements such as interpreting facilities, catering and transport for the delegates to and from the airport would be arranged. Registration for the meeting is free of charge and to date the secretariat had already received over 20 registrations. In the discussions that followed, stakeholders requested to be informed about the nomination procedure for speakers at the conference.

 

VIII.   Date and place of next meeting

 

15.  The 6th meeting of the Working Group would be held at the headquarters of ICCO in London (UK) in the afternoon of 5 March 2009. The aim of the meeting would be to discuss the results and follow-up of the RSCE2 Preparatory Meeting in Abidjan prior to the 2nd Roundtable in Trinidad and Tobago. Working Group members who would not be able to attend the meeting in London would be able to participate via telephone conference. As agreed in its 4th meeting, the 7th meeting of the RSCE2 Working Group would be held in London (UK) at the offices of ICCO on 20 April 2009.

 

16.  The Chair concluded the meeting, thanking Trinidad and Tobago again for all their efforts and contributions aimed at making the RSCE2 a resounding success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

Members and nominated alternates

Mme. Acquah Assouan Amouan (Co-Chair – Leader of an Expert Group)

Mr. Tony Lass MBE (Co-Chair – Leader of an Expert Group)

 

Ms. Isabelle Adam (ECA)

Mr. Edem Amegashie-Duvon (Ghana)

Mr. Enzo Barattini (European Commission)

Mr. St.-Cyr Djikalou (Côte d’Ivoire – Spokesman for Producers)

Mr. Pierre Tsimi Enouga (Cameroon)

Dr. Martin Gilmour (CAOBISCO)

Ms. Roanna Gopaul (Trinidad and Tobago – sponsor RSCE2 / alternate)

Dr. Victor Iyama (Nigeria / alternate)

Ms. Patricia Maharaj (Trinidad and Tobago – sponsor RSCE2)

Dr. José Antonio Martínez (Dominican Republic – Chairman of the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy)

Ms. Chantal Oltramare (Switzerland – sponsor)

Ms. Marieke Poissonnier (Oxfam International – NGO representative / alternate)

Mr. Max Schnellmann (Switzerland / alternate)

Mr. Simon Schnetzer (Roundtable Co-ordinator – Leader of an Expert Group)

Mr. Juan-Diego Stacey (Ecuador)

Mr. Jack Steijn (EWF)

Mr. Hagen Streichert (Germany – Spokesman for Consumers / sponsor RSCE2)

Mr. Aly Touré (Côte d’Ivoire)

Mr. Marcel Vernooij (Netherlands – sponsor RSCE2 – Leader of an Expert Group)

Mr. Ewald Wermuth (Netherlands – sponsor RSCE2 / alternate)

Ms. Gine Zwart (Oxfam International – NGO representative)

 

Regrets from members and observers:

Mr. Aknan Ehtook (Malaysia)

Mr. Bill Guyton (World Cocoa Foundation)

Mr. Richard Holland (WWF – NGO representative)

Mr. Gerard Manley (WCF-Olam / alternate)

Dr. Akinwale Ojo (Cocoa Association of Nigeria)

Mr. Carsten Schmitz-Hoffmann (Germany / alternate)

Mr. Fitz-Clarence Waldropt (Trinidad and Tobago – sponsor RSCE2)

 

Observers

Dr. Jan Vingerhoets (Executive Director, ICCO)

 

ICCO Secretariat

Dr. Jean-Marc Anga (Leader of an Expert Group)

Mr. Han Loke Fong

 

In attendance

Mr. Ngwe Ngwe Apollinaire (Cameroon)

Ms. Nathalie Asse (Côte d’Ivoire)

Mr. Chris Brett (WCF/Olam)

Mr. John Daniel Clottey-Sefa (Ghana)

Mr. Marc Daubrey (Côte d’Ivoire)

Mr. Martyrs Djikalou (Côte d’Ivoire)

Mr. Hope Sona Ebai (COPAL)

Mr. Dramani Egala (Ghana)

Dr. Torben Erbrath (BDSI, Germany)

Dr. Karsten Keunecke (BDSI, Germany)

Mr. Prosper Kouassi Atse (Côte d’Ivoire)

Mr. Francis Osei-Owusu (Ghana)

Mr. Eric Mel Gahie (Côte d’Ivoire)

Ms. Lisa Melvin (Assistant to Roundtable Co-ordinator)

Mr. Yaya A. O. Olaniran (Nigeria)

Mr. Phil Sigley (FCC)