A little over two months since the start of the 2014-2015 cocoa season, on August 1, Cameroonian cocoa already set its first record. According to Commodafrica, farm gate prices in the production areas are currently at unprecedented levels, reaching 1,330 FCFA compared to 1,265 FCFA in September 2014. The price per kilo of farm gate cocoa is now $30 higher than a year ago, according to the same source.
This rise in prices is the result of improvement in the product’s quality as well as better organisation among farmers’ associations which are turning more and more to group sales, a mechanism that helps them to increase producers’ leverage when negotiating with buyers.
These are the first gains resulting from the meetings held during the previous season by the inter-professional organisation which not only encouraged farmers across the production area to combine the many GICs into cooperatives, at times at the regional level, but also trained producers in the techniques of group sales in better organised occasional markets.
This price hike is also intended to wipe-out illegal sellers who generally tend to take advantage of the producers. Indeed, the CICC intends to impose stiffer penalties and announced that, for the current season, fraud-proof magnetic cards will be issued to exporters and their intermediaries which will prevent illegal vendors from participating in markets.