Cocoa-Growing Nations Planning One Quality Standard, Copal Says

The Alliance of Cocoa Producing Countries plans to establish a single quality standard to help increase the price of the crops grown by its 10 member nations, Secretary General Nanga Coulibaly said.

A working group is expected to meet soon to finalize the requirements that must be met before members of the Lagos-based industry group, known as Copal, can issue quality certificates. They will also discuss pricing, he said.

“We requested member countries to take steps to combat crop contamination and control the use of unauthorized chemicals,” Coulibaly said by telephone on March 13. “Each country has taken action. We are satisfied.”

Global cocoa demand will outstrip supply until 2014-2015 because of pests, disease and aging farmers, the International Cocoa Organization said today. The price has fallen 6 percent this year in New York and dropped to a nine-month low on March 6, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brazil, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, the Dominican Republic, Gabon, Ghana, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe and Togo are Copal members Farmers in those countries should be paid a “suitable” price after the initiative to improve quality, Coulibaly said.

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