Farmforce Partners with Fairtrade and Ivorian Cocoa Cooperatives to XXXX
Farmforce – XX. May 2021. By Pauline Hilley
Ivorian cocoa farmers supply 39% of the worlds’ cocoa, a much-loved treat by consumers worldwide. These farmers are typically structured in cooperatives, which is an independent organization of farmers. Cooperatives work with a wide range of stakeholders – from certifying bodies to commercial partners and buyers of their cocoa beans. They are asked to supply a vast amount of data and information to these stakeholders, but much of this data is disaggregated and not being used effectively by the cooperatives to make data-driven decisions.
Fairtrade is keen to support their certified cooperatives to implement a cooperative-owned Internal Management System (IMS) to enable cooperatives to collect data on members’ farms, production, and sales, and manage prominent risks such as child labor and deforestation.
At Farmforce we build trust and transparency in the first mile of the agricultural value chains around the world, working with some of the largest global multinationals to give them ground-level visibility and to tackle sustainability challenges such as deforestation and child labor with actionable data. We are a cloud-based web and mobile SaaS platform, and the world-leading IMS for sustainable cocoa sourcing management from smallholders in emerging markets.
A rich data set in the hands of the cooperative and its members can enable a wide range of benefits for member farmers. For example, having a centralized database of results from field inspections can help cooperatives determine areas or farmers that require additional support and training, and effectively manage any follow-up activities. Structured data on farmers can be used as the basis for credit scoring – enabling farmers to develop a credit history that can be used to gain access to financing. Data can be analyzed to extract actionable insights to improve efficiencies in operations and identify areas of risk. The possibilities are endless.
Farmforce is delighted to have been selected as part of a rigorous tender process as the IMS solution of choice to be piloted at three Fairtrade cocoa cooperatives, in a project sponsored by Fairtrade. The objectives of the project are to ensure that by the end of the five-month pilot, the cooperatives have full ownership of their data, fully understand how to manage their IMS, and have the knowledge to extract value from its data.
To kick off our work with these pilot cooperatives, we have conducted a research study in which our teams have been to each of the cooperatives on the ground and worked with their staff over several days to gain rich insight into how they are managing data currently. This has allowed our teams to map out an optimal digital IMS for the cooperatives to manage common activities.
The Next Steps
In the next step of the project, we will be deploying our tailored Farmforce IMS solution at the cooperatives, supported by a targeted training program that will really focus on ensuring that the cooperatives take ownership of the solution and understand how to extract value from it.
The cooperative staff will use the Farmforce web and mobile app to start digitally managing their operations and collecting data and using that data to make decisions that benefit their farmer members.
Our ambition is to use the learnings from this pilot project and apply this at scale, bringing increased data empowerment to more cooperatives and their members.
We see this as a unique opportunity to work closely with the cooperatives and build a system for the future that can be used to have maximum impact on their smallholder farmer members.