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Some of the major ills that afflict the cocoa sector supply chain are:
over 2 million children who work on cocoa farms (Cocoa Barometer 2018).
produce that’s sourced from primary/protected forests.
continued use of prohibited phytosanitory products.
Our traceability initiative is aimed at eliminating these issues.
Here is our approach:
applying the Processes
Methodology to ensure comprehensive data collection as item travels through supply chain, validating each stage.
In nursery and onfield grafting, all vegetal matter is sourced in-house, therefore origin known.
Phytosanitory products, fertilizers are supplied by internal purchasing department, thereby avoiding use of uncertified products and preserving history.
employing the right People
Internal auditors impose adequate checks, aiming for maximum data veracity.
Workers are hired based on valid photo ID, eliminating underage employment.
using available Technology
we are currently studying a Blockchain based POC to reduce manual intervention whilst compiling, transmitting data.
An inclusive approach adopted by the group has resulted in harmonious relations with surrounding communities that has helped cement the sense of security and perennity of the project. Following are the primary components of that process to ensure that all leased land is vetted, ensuring continuity.
Almost 98% of agricultural land doesn’t have title of property in Ivory Coast. This tedious process requires resources that village communities don’t have access to, leaving them vulnerable to eventual encroachment and possible extradition. KKO International and SOLEA innovates in its approach by financing and executing all of the administrative modalities that accompany the establishment of a land title. The company’s approach enables land owners to become true tenants in the eyes of the law. Such approach helps establish a bond of mutual trust between the communities and the company.
The company engages with the land owner/s through the signature of an official document in form of an 35 - 50 year emphyteutic lease (vetted by government) where the following articles are clearly stated:
Profit Distribution: 5% of gross profits generated from leased land are handed back to the tenant. Payments are made to bank accounts opened specifically for the purpose, thus avoiding cash payouts. This is done to ensure good record keeping and avoiding misuse.
70:30: 70% of the profits handed back can be used by the owner for his own usage. However, 30% of the profits are reserved for the community and common projects such as drinking water, health, education, electricity etc.
Management committees are setup that includes the tenant, representatives from the related community and the company. The aim of the committee is to meet regularly to discuss accounts, manage payouts, ensuring transparency, correct allocation and establishing future common projects..
We have eliminated child labour in our workplace.
Fighting Child Labour
“At the start of the project, the company had solemly promised to eliminate all forms of forced labour, notably child labour, on all of its plantations. We have, in this direction, established strict internal rules prohibiting child labor on the plantation and set up, for the children of the surrounding villages, schools and education programs. As of today, it can proudly claim to be free from all forms of such repressive practices.”
— Indranil GHOSH, Deputy MD
For every hectare of cocoa,
we plant a HA of forest.
Today, governments in Ivory Coast are unable to serve the growing needs for reforestation/biodiversity as the pace of economic development and the needs of a rising population takes its toll. To address this critical gap in the region, the company has embarked on building in-house teams dedicated to conservation with the aim to create and launch programs in biodiversity. The programs features key benchmarks (biological, economic) relevant to conservation with applied field usage and practices.
How is execution managed?
All biodiversity programs are run by the departmental head of agronomy who imparts his strategic direction and works directly with specially created internal committees to ensure oversight (HSE: Hygiene, Security and Environmental and RAINFOREST). A program lead, a qualified agro-engineer specialised in agroforestry, assumes the executional responsibility with a suite of administrative and programmatic tasks to keep programs running on an every-day basis.
The worrying state of women resonates throughout rural Africa. FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) is a striking example with Ivory Coast having one of the highest prevalence rates in West Africa. Here are a few numbers to highlight the general plight:
only 18 % of agricultural lands are held by women.
over 75 % of rural women are living below the poverty line.
under 33 % of women are literate compared to 53 % of males.
As gender inequality is culturally constructed (not natural), aim us to deconstruct existing pratices by ensuring financial freedom of women through training and well paid, steady employment. As of this day, certain in-house tasks e.g. nursery, planting, grafting and mulching are entirely done by women.
“We are aligning innovation & social responsibility”
Remy ALLEMANE | Co-Founder
Our fertilizers are made from composted cattle manure, thereby exceptionally rich in humifiable organic matter. It improves the physical structure of the soil by increasing power in water retention, aerationr esistance to erosion and improves the biological qualities of soils by bringing many microorganisms.
Perimeter Crop: Teak is a hardwood tree that is considered generally as the best choice for fire prevention. All along the perimeters of each cacao block, dense lining ofteak allows to form an efficient safety net.
POI: The POI is an emergency plan, drawn up by an external operator, which organises the means, equipment and methods of intervention in the event of a disaster in an installation. Drawn up by SGS following an extensive on-site study, the plan was validated during an onsite examination by GSPM (Groupement des Sapeurs Pompiers Militaires de Cote d’Ivoire).
Environnemental and Social Impact Studies are conducted by third parties prior to the start of work. Aim is to identify and evaluate the socio-economic impacts of the project in the area where it will be based and propose mitigation measures to offset negative impacts, whilst undelining the positive returns.
Our CSR projects
In accordance with its social investment goals, company has installed solar powered water pumps for each of its partnering villages. This ensures a sustainable solution to drinking water for the local population.
Ivory Coast has one of the lowest literacy rates in Africa (see the interactive chart below). A fully equipped school has been built for children from neighbouring villages. The company pays for the maintenance and the professor in charge.
The company has build a onsite healthcare center that is fully equipped and runs with two full time nurses and a doctor. Primary care is administered free of cost and existing logistics ensure that all sick are transported to nearest hospitals for further care if needed.
Using in-house teams and logistics, we have built several kilometres of roads that have facilited access to far flung villages that had been previously difficult to reach. Annual maintenance is overseen and funded by the company.
A Rapid Intervention Brigade, equipped with communication equipment, licensed arms and motorcycles guard the plantation 24/7. The team also ensures the safety of the surrounding villages. Every member of the team is carefully chosen after rigorous training, thorough background check and vetting by local government. In addition, there are numerous stationary checkpoints all over the plantation with permanent guards who control all entry and exit.