(Business in Cameroon) - XAF1,650; this is how much a kilogram of cocoa beans from excellence centers is bought by French chocolate makers. These excellence centers were built in the country’s production basins in the framework of a partnership between French chocolate makers and the Coffee-cocoa board CICC.
This is far above the maximum of XAF1,060 per kilo (and a minimum of XAF1,020) paid to farmers that do not produce beans that match the quality of those from excellence centers. According to Christophe Bertrand, the French chocolate maker that brought Cameroonian cocoa to his peers’ attention, this price is a result of the label "comitted chocolate makers" launched months ago.
“With this label, French chocolate makers are committed to buying this quality cocoa from Cameroonian farmers’ cooperatives. This year, we are buying it at XAF1,650 per kilogram,” he explains adding that every year, this price can be discussed.
The cocoa beans excellence centers are constructions equipped with specific fermentation and drying equipment. Coupled with a quality assurance scheme, these excellence centers help produce “pure quality” cocoa.
In view of the advantages provided by these centers, the cocoa board plans to build them around the country. In the long term, these centers will be built in the 36 regions to provide access to more than 1,500 young producers from the “New Generation” program.
The “New Generation” program was launched to attract young people into cocoa production. In 7 years, it has helped establish more than 2,500 hectares of new cocoa trees.
Brice R. Mbodiam