A business unit owned by Ecom Trading, one of the largest traders in the world, has denied that it established fake co-ops in order to benefit from the growing trade in certified cocoa
The cocoa sector has occasionally been tarnished by allegations of fake co-operatives that are set up to benefit cocoa buyers and middlemen rather than producer organizations and farmers. The latest allegations about this kind of practice concern Ecom Trading’s Peruvian operations, but have been firmly rebutted by the company.
Towards the end of 2017, C&CI was contacted by representatives of The Peruvian association of Cocoa Producers (APPCACAO), Central Coffee and Cocoa Association, Amazonian Green Association (AVA) and National Fair Trade Coordinator (CNCJ), expressing concerns that cocoa producers in Peru with organic and Fair Trade certification were in danger of suffering “irreparable damage” as a result of what they claimed were ‘fake co-operatives’ established by entities in Peru that are part of Ecom Trading.
The organisations claimed that the action of the alleged fake co-ops could harm the country’s image as a producer of organic and Fair Trade cocoa. And adversely affect and cause reputational damage to more than 100,000 Peruvian producers.
In correspondence with C&CI, the above-mentioned bodies said co-ops including COPASA (FLO ID 34162) and ASOCASEL (FLO ID 32959) – which they claimed were ‘created’ by Cafetalera Amazónica SAC (CAMSA, FLO ID 28115), part of Ecom Group – were committing fraud by buying conventional cocoa beans that were then marketed as organic and Fair Trade cocoa.■ C&CI Read more
This article first appeared in the January ’18 issue of C&CI, click on subscribe now if you wish to read the full story and other informative articles in the January and future issues of C&CI or log in here if you are already a subscriber.