New cocoa marketplace aims to strengthen relationships between producers and buyers

As the EUDR deadline begins to loom, companies are scrambling to ready their supply chains for when restrictions come into force.

Cocoa farmers, whose production methods are under particular scrutiny due to potential links to deforestation, often face particular demands to change practices.

The African Cocoa Marketplace (ACM), a newly introduced platform for cocoa farmers, aims to help them keep solid business relationships with buyers, develop value propositions for their products, and build solid sustainability credentials for their wares.

It will also allow buyers to have greater flexibility in choosing what they want from cocoa beans, and what kind of farmers they want to buy from.

Stronger relationships

The ACM aims, first and foremost, to create stronger relationships between farmers and buyers within African cocoa.

“The ACM digital marketplace will work similarly to Amazon or AirBnB, but specifically for cocoa and cocoa-related products and services across Africa. We help buyers and sellers to craft their value propositions – what sets them apart, makes them an attractive business partner – and then market those value propositions on our platform,” Dr Kristy Leissle, founder and CEO of ACM, told FoodNavigator.

“Buyers (of cocoa beans, semi-finished products, chocolate, confectionery) will be able to search for sellers according to criteria that matter to them. For example, a chocolate company that prioritises women’s empowerment might search for cocoa suppliers that have gender equity programs for farmers, or strong representation of women in leadership roles.”