Ecookim

Ecookim, cocoa, Côte d’Ivoire (producer)

Ecookim was established in 2004 and is an important player in Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa value chain. Membership has now grown to reach 23 farmer co-operatives, with 22,570 individual producers covering two different provinces. 

Ecookim’s main activity consists of buying and processing raw cocoa from co-operatives, and exporting cocoa beans. They are currently Shared Interest’s largest customer in West Africa, and one of the best-performing Fairtrade certified groups in the region. Their vision is to ensure that cocoa farmers receive a greater share of the cocoa supply chain by selling directly in the international cocoa market. 

The co-operatives are located in regions that attract high numbers of immigrants from neighbouring countries, including Mali, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria, looking for economic opportunities. These regions typically have high unemployment and poor healthcare, with environmental problems, such as deforestation, soil degradation and water pollution.

Bamba, who is in charge of Ecookim’s sustainable development programme, said:

“We have been using the Fairtrade Premium to set up primary schools so the children are looked after while the women go to work.”

BETTER THE BALANCE, BETTER THE WORLD.

Cocoa is vital to Ecookim members, providing 70% of their incomes, but many of their cocoa trees are now old and diseased, and need replacing. Coffee is also grown as a cash crop along with maize, rice and bananas, for family consumption. 

Ecookim provides social support to members, which includes: 

  • Support to women’s groups, providing  alternative income generating projects, like the Village Saving and Loan Associations (VLSA). 
  • Construction of a three-classroom  block for a primary school, rehabilitation of 10 primary schools and distribution of 3,000 school materials. 
  • Loans for school fees to member producers and staff. 
  • Free distribution of treated mosquito nets to producer members. 
  • Campaigning against child labour. 
  • Training on Ebola disease awareness and prevention. 
  • Construction of warehouses for two member co-operatives. 
  • Building of bridges. 
  • Health support for producers and their relatives and deforestation. 
  • Environmental training against bush fire.

You can read more about Ecookim in QR 111.

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