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Partners and networks in the Global Strategy

Bioversity International

Bioversity undertakes research on agricultural biodiversity, dedicated to addressing global issues related to food security, poverty, climate change and environmental degradation. Bioversity is one of 15 centres of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres (CGIAR), created in 1971, to reduce hunger and poverty, improve human nutrition and health, and protect the environment. One of Bioversity’s research priorities is the conservation and availability of genetic resources contribute to research in the area of ex situ, in situ and on-farm conservation and availability of crops and their wild relatives, providing scientific leadership, coordination and facilitation of ongoing and new research and global partnerships. Bioversity manages a number of projects on cacao genetic resources to contribute to the welfare of the large number of smallholders cultivating cocoa through higher and sustainable productivity levels of good quality cocoa at lower production costs. The CFC/ICCO/Bioversity project on “Cocoa Germplasm Utilization and Conservation” focuses on the validation and distribution of promising varieties to farmers and to project partners through enhanced collaborative efforts. Use of improved cocoa planting material should make cocoa cultivation more competitive and more attractive to new generations of cocoa farmers. It should facilitate diversification of cocoa-based farming systems by reducing land, labour and cash requirements for cocoa cultivation. Bioversity also coordinates the global programme on Cocoa of Excellence and the International Cocoa Award. Bioversity provides the Secretariat for CacaoNet.

Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement - CIRAD

CIRAD is a French research centre working with developing countries to tackle international agricultural and development issues. It is a targeted research organization, and bases its operations on development needs, from field to laboratory and from a local to a global scale. CIRAD works hand-in-hand with local people and the local environment, on complex, ever-changing issues: food security, ecological intensification, emerging diseases, the future of agriculture in developing countries, etc. CIRAD supports both cocoa producers and players further downstream in the supply chain, by developing scientific and technical innovations aimed at ensuring a sustainable cocoa economy. Its research centres on: (1) creating a range of more productive and/or better quality planting material, (2) developing appropriate control methods, (3) building decision support tools to establish viability thresholds for cocoa farms, depending on farm size and target markets and (4) developing tools to assist in defining and recognizing quality, by studying the determining factors and by labelling. CIRAD’s scientists have been actively involved in the cacao GR effort for many years and in addition to the organization of collecting expeditions, have developed molecular approaches to diversity analysis and verification of accessions as well as marker-assisted and traditional breeding approaches.

Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International - CABI

CABI is a not-for-profit international organization that improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. CABI’s objectives are to lift smallholder farmers out of poverty through reducing the lost crops to pests and diseases, improve crop quality and yield, and sell their produce for better prices, providing advice on agricultural practice to extension workers and information to researchers and policymakers that they need to develop strategies to support agriculture and the environment, and improve livelihoods. CABI supports research on cacao at CATIE in Costa Rica, and the Instituto Nacional Autónomo de Investigaciones Agropecuarias - INIAP in Ecuador on biological control potential for the fungal pathogens Moniliophthora roreri and Moniliophthora perniciosa, causal agents of frosty pod rot and witches’ broom disease (WBD) respectively, main constraints to cocoa production in Central and South America.

Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza - CATIE

The collection at CATIE was initiated in 1944 in Turrialba, Costa Rica, as part of a strategy of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to promote the exchange of germplasm of tropical crops. In 1978, CATIE’s collection was registered by the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources IBPGR (now Bioversity International) as a global base collection and since 2004 it is under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and covered by the ITPGRFA. In the nineties, CATIE with the support of the WCF and the USDA/ARS initiated a regional cacao breeding programme. The focus of the programme is selection and generation of high-yielding and disease resistant genotypes with emphasis on moniliasis (Moniliophthora roreri) and black pod (Phytophthora palmivora) diseases, two of the major biotic factors limiting cacao production in Central America and Mexico. The original source of the experimental germplasm is the CATIE International Cacao Collection (IC3), which currently comprises 1146 accessions collected, introduced or selected/bred by IICA/CATIE over the last 70 years with different genetic and geographic origin from Central America, Mexico, South America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa. Trinitario is the predominant group, however, there is also a significant representation of upper and lower Amazon Forasteros and to a lesser extent of Criollo types not found in other collections. The breeding programme now includes 28 field trials, where six segregating populations for molecular studies, 532 clones, and 292 hybrid families are under evaluation. Trees are evaluated monthly using parameters related to precocity, vigour, yield capacity and disease resistance. Renewed efforts to improve the genetic structure and physical conditions of the collection have been ongoing since 2001. From 2001-2005, it was completely renovated by propagating all original clones and establishing them at 2 distinct new sites, La Molina in Turrialba and La Lola on the Atlantic coast. CATIE collaborated with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) towards the renovation of the collection, its genetic enrichment by introducing strategic germplasm and the first effort towards its genetic rationalization. The objectives of the renovations were to curtail further losses of accession caused by soil-born fungus by re-organizing the collection, standardizing the number of plants per accession, rejuvenate the old trees and maintain replicates of each accession at different sites for security reasons. The improvement of the collection is a priority and the further reorganization in order to improve the accuracy and efficiency of maintaining this collection.

Cocoa Producers Alliance - COPAL

COPAL is an intergovernmental organization instituted in January 1962. The founding members are Ghana, Nigeria, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, and Cameroon. COPAL is guided by the Abidjan Charter. COPAL's objectives are to: (1) Exchange technical and scientific information, (2) Discuss problems of mutual interest and to advance social and economic relations between producers, (3) Ensure adequate supplies to the market at remunerative prices and (4) Promote the expansion of consumption. COPAL’s International Cocoa Research Conferences have provided the opportunity to raise awareness of cacao genetic resources issues, to launch the CacaoNet initiative and subsequently, for CacaoNet’s steering committee and working groups to meet.

Cocoa Research Association Ltd. - CRA Ltd.

CRA Ltd is a UK-based organization managing scientific cocoa research on behalf of Kraft Foods, Mars and the London Cocoa Trade (NYSE Liffe). Cocoa Research Association Ltd. manages a portfolio of projects focusing on research capable of benefiting cocoa growing throughout the world. The CRA Ltd. research programme is closely linked to those of its sister organizations Cocoa Research (UK) Ltd and the Ghana Cocoa Growing Research Association Ltd (GCGRA Ltd). The chocolate industry in the UK has had a long involvement in research to support the cocoa GR and breeding effort and has been a major contributor to key resources such as CRU/UWI, ICQC,R and ICGD for many decades.

Cocoa Research Unit of the University of the West Indies - CRU/UWI

CRU/UWI maintains the International Cocoa Genebank, Trinidad (ICG,T) established in 1982, by consolidating diverse earlier collections of cacao from several sites in Trinidad which included accessions from other national collections and from numerous missions to collect primary germplasm from the centre of diversity of cacao. A main source of original material for the ICG,T was Marper Farm, established by F.J. Pound following his expeditions to the upper Amazon from 1937 to 1942. The trees at Marper though now old, have survived periods of neglect to remain as an important anchor in confirming the identity of clones in the ICG,T and in replacing material which has proved difficult to establish. Trees in the ICG,T were propagated as rooted cuttings using budwood from the original trees and, by 1994 over 2000 accessions had been planted. Additional clones are added as they become available. The ICG,T genebank now contains one of the most diverse collections of cacao germplasm and consists now of 2400 accessions, representing the major groups of cacao (Forastero, Criollo, Trinitario and Refractario) as well as related species of Theobroma. About 40% of the accessions are in the Forastero group, 40% in the Refractario group, 10% in the Trinitario group and the remainder either Criollo, hybrids or unclassified. There is a constant introduction of new material to the ICG,T, either from collection expeditions to obtain primary germplasm, or from exchanges with other countries. Recent collections of primary germplasm (still to be introduced to the ICG,T) aim to increase the representation of the Criollo group. Selected cacao accessions with desirable agronomic traits are distributed to cocoa-producing countries via intermediate quarantine at the University of Reading, UK. In addition, some accessions are used in pre-breeding programmes to accumulate desirable genes especially for resistance to Black Pod and Witches' Broom diseases The main objective of such programmes is to produce enhanced germplasm that will introduce resistance genes to conventional breeding programmes in various cocoa-producing countries throughout the world. The work of CRU/UWI is supported financially in part by CRA Ltd, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality or Ministerie van Landbouw, Natuur en Voedselkwaliteit, The Netherlands (LNV) and the Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs (MFPLMA), Trinidad and Tobago.

Common Fund for Commodities - CFC

CFC is an inter-governmental financial institution established within the framework of the United Nations. The Fund’s specific mandate is to support developing countries that are commodity-dependent to improve and diversify commodities’ production and trade. The Common Fund finances projects that typically have a market development and poverty alleviation orientation. Its multi-country dimension and approach places a high premium on the development of regional commodities-based economies, through a variety of project initiatives that seek to enhance the capacity of commodity producers and exporters to participate fully in global trade. CFC, with co-funding from participating institutions and industry, supported two consecutive projects (1998-2010) on cocoa germplasm utilization and conservation, which involved fourteen institutes in cocoa producing and consuming countries.

European Industry Cocoa Research Outreach Group

CAOBISCO, ECA and FCC have recently established the European Industry Cocoa Research Outreach Group to encourage cooperation in engaging with and supporting research activities which advance our knowledge on how to make cocoa production safer, improve quality and enhance productivity. The goal of more sustainable cocoa production is clearly an important area of collaboration for the whole cocoa industry and there are many opportunities for pre-competitive research and other activities which will benefit all those involved in the cocoa chain from farmers to consumers, today and into the future. The conservation and exploitation of cacao genetic resources to breed new and improved varieties and the subsequent distribution of these varieties to farmers is already recognised as a key component of sustainable cocoa production. Activities in this area are already being supported by several European companies and associations.

 The group seeks to improve coordination in these activities, to cooperate with research groups and to liaise with other industry and public organizations with a view to attracting funding and steering research towards issues which affect our industry.

The Association of the Chocolate, Biscuits and Confectionery Industries of Europe (CAOBISCO), through its national associations, represents 2000+ companies across these three product categories. In terms of raw materials usage we represent over 50% of world cocoa consumption, 30% of EU sugar consumption and are the major users of dairy and cereals. CAOBISCO industries are involved at all levels and with many stakeholders in working towards a sustainable cocoa economy. Our commitment covers the three pillars of sustainable development, economic, environmental and social.

The European Cocoa Association (ECA) is a trade association representing the European cocoa sector and regrouping the major companies involved in the cocoa bean trade and processing, in warehousing and related logistical activities. Together, ECA Members represent over two-thirds of Europe’s cocoa beans grinding, half of Europe's industrial chocolate production and 40 % of the world production of cocoa liquor, butter and powder. On behalf of its members, ECA monitors and reports on development impacting the cocoa sector, both at regulatory and scientific levels. In addition, ECA is actively engaged in European and International fora related to the industry's contribution to a sustainable cocoa economy.

The Federation of Cocoa Commerce Limited (FCC) is UK based and represents some 170 members engaged in the international cocoa sector. This diverse membership includes organizations and companies from cocoa producing countries, the cocoa processing and chocolate industry, cocoa trade, logistics providers, banks, brokers, insurance and others. FCC activities are focused around the cocoa supply chain being an international contract authority. We support this cocoa contract with arbitration services and a number of other initiatives to enhance integrity in the cocoa supply chain.

The Global Cacao Genetic Resources Network - CacaoNet

The creation of a network was proposed in 2005 to optimize the conservation and use of cacao genetic resources worldwide for the benefit of breeders, researchers and farmers. CacaoNet was officially launched at the COPAL 15th International Cocoa Research Conference in San José, Costa Rica, in October 2006. CacaoNet’s overall goal is to optimize the conservation and use of cacao genetic resources, as the foundation of a sustainable cocoa economy (from farmers through research to consumers), by coordinating and strengthening the conservation and related research efforts of a worldwide network of public and private sector stakeholders. Financial and in-kind support has been contributed from a number of organizations including CRA Ltd, Mars, USDA/ARS, WCF, Bioversity International and COPAL which has permitted the CacaoNet steering committee and working groups to meet, and the coordination of the network. CacaoNet is indebted to the research institutes and organizations who have allowed their staff to participate in the network and to the individuals who have contributed their valuable time and expertise.

Global Crop Diversity Trust

The Global Crop Diversity Trust (the Trust) was established under international law organization in October 2004, founded by FAO and Bioversity International, acting on behalf of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The Trust is an endowment fund for ex situ collections of Annex 1 crops (selected on the basis of their contribution to food security), and the collections that fall under Article 15. Cacao is included in the Article 15 under which IC3 (CATIE) and ICG,T (CRU/UWI) fall. The Trust may offer a route to manage funds designated for cacao conservation.

Government of the Netherlands

The Government of the Netherlands (Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation) supported twenty-two projects in the cocoa and chocolate manufacturing sector aimed at improving the sustainable development of the sector. These projects started in the period 2004 – 2007 and most have now been completed. The projects were implemented by various Dutch and international organizations and covered research and development activities, information supplies, training, education and/or technical assistance. Several of the projects were focussed on the genetic improvement and availability of cocoa planting material and these included projects to Safeguard the ICG,T, to improve the energy efficiency of the ICQC,R, to use molecular techniques to gain understanding of the genotype x environment effect and to initiate a new breeding programme in Ghana.
The Dutch Government is now supporting the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) which aims to improve the sustainability of international supply chains. IDH launched the Cocoa Productivity and Quality Programme Facility (CPQP) in January 2012. CPQP brings major players in the cocoa sector together to co-fund programmes to mainstream innovations on effective farmer support and improved production to assist smallholder farmers move out of poverty and make the transition to running viable businesses for sustainable cocoa production.

International Cocoa Organization - ICCO

ICCO was established in 1973 under the auspices of the United Nations to administer the provisions of the International Cocoa Agreement (ICA) concluded amongst the Governments of cocoa-producing and cocoa-consuming countries at conferences convened by the United Nations. The ICCO aims to strengthen the global cocoa sector, support its sustainable development and increase the benefits to all stakeholders. The ICCO is co-operating with other institutions and the Common Fund for Commodities on the development and implementation of projects aimed at improving the structural conditions of cocoa markets and enhancing long-term competitiveness and prospects in the world cocoa economy, including two major projects which focussed on the conservation and utilization of cacao genetic resources.

International Cocoa Quarantine Centre - ICQC,R

The ICQC,R, established in 1985 at the University of Reading, UK, holds approximately 450 cacao accessions (350 clones available for exchange and a further 100 undergoing quarantine). The ICQC,R is funded by the Cocoa Research Association Ltd (CRA Ltd) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with additional funding from the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC). The ICQC,R provides pest and disease free material both for use within the University and internationally. The current quarantine procedure involves a two year visual observation period to check for latent viral infections supervised by an experienced virologist. The facilities, plus laboratories fitted with the latest equipment for molecular biology and in vitro culture, enable pioneering research in cocoa physiology, pathology, genetic fingerprinting and tissue culture. Research is underway to improve and accelerate the quarantine process using new technologies. Since 1985 many cacao clones have passed through the ICQC,R facility and many shipments made. Most of these have been received from the International Genebanks in Trinidad (ICG,T) and Costa Rica (CATIE), but material has also been received from the wild and national collections. In addition, ICQC,R cryopreserves frequently requested clones. To date 12 such clones have been cryopreserved and it is the aim to back-up 10% of the ICQC,R collection within the next three years.

International Group for Genetic Improvement of Cocoa – INGENIC

INGENIC was created in 1994 to promote the exchange of information and international collaboration on cocoa genetics and improvement of cocoa planting materials. It organizes international workshops on cacao genetics and breeding topics, and newsletters and internet discussion groups to allow members to share their results. INGENIC membership includes over 300 members, representing 35 developing and developed countries around the world. INGENIC has helped to raise awareness of the CacaoNet initiative, particularly through a survey that it conducted amongst its members in 2007 and at its workshops. INGENIC is supported by the institutes which have allowed their staff to form the secretariat of INGENIC (Bioversity/CIRAD, CRA, CRIG, CRU/UWI, MCB, Penn State University, UESC) and financial support from various public and private sector sources which have included CRA, Mars, Stiftung der Deutschen Kakao- und Schokoladenwirtschaft, and USDA/ARS. INGENIC is grateful to the support of COPAL, and its partner organizations in host countries, for allowing the INGENIC Workshops to be coordinated with the International Cocoa Research Conferences.

International Institute for Tropical Agriculture – IITA

An”African Cacao Breeders’ Working Group (ACBWG)” is already in place with IITA as a technical partner to coordinate and build support for regional efforts in cacao genetic resources and breeding programmes within West and Central Africa. The ACBWG has carried out SSR genotyping to understand the diversity of the cocoa germplasm in farmers’ fields and research stations in four producing countries in West Africa such as Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon. The results demonstrated the narrow genetic base in farmers’ fields and the immediate need for diversifying with inclusion of improved planting materials from breeders’ collection to combat the loss through prevailing and emerging pests and diseases in the region. Presently, ACBWG is involved in a regionally coordinated research programme, African Cocoa Initiative, to support sustainable productivity growth and improved food security on diversified cocoa farms in West and Central Africa. Accessing improved planting material is a problem for farmers in most areas, especially those distant to existing seed gardens. This issue which is common to the subregion offers wide scope for sharing and collaboration on alternative decentralized seed/budwood garden approaches. These include somatic embryogenesis to produce clonal planting materials, molecular technologies to confirm the parentage of seed garden hybrids and to ensure disease-free planting materials. Research on seed storage methods and other methods of altering the seasonal availability of hybrid seed to better match farmers’ seasonal demand for planting seed at the start of the rains in March/April could generate a high return. IITA has facilities for tissue culture/micropropagation in its Genetic Resource Center, a well established Germplasm Health Unit, and a well equipped Bioscience Center, which could handle the regional requirement by providing technical backstopping or safe duplication of regional genetic materials.

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture - ITPGRFA

The ITPGRFA came into force on 29 June 2004. Its objectives are the conservation and sustainable use of all plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits that arise from their use. The core of the Treaty is its Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-Sharing (MLS of ABS), which ensures continuous availability of important genetic resources for research and plant breeding, whilst providing for the equitable sharing of benefits, including monetary benefits that are derived from commercialization. Cacao is not specifically listed in the Annex 1 of the MLS but the two international collections at CATIE and CRU/UWI however signed agreements with the Treaty and their collections are covered under the Article 15.

Kraft Foods

Kraft Foods is the world’s biggest chocolate company and uses around 11% if the world’s total cocoa crop. Cadbury, one of Kraft’s biggest brands has been actively influencing the future of cocoa and the communities that grow it for several years. In 2008, Cadbury launched the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership to help secure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of cocoa. Through the Cocoa Partnership Kraft has committed 45 million pounds Sterling (approximately $70 million) to invest in cocoa farming in Ghana, India, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean over 10 years. The programme is already operating in 100 Ghanaian communities, with plans to double in size by year-end 2012. The Partnership has forged successful alliances with The Ghana Cocoa Board and the fair trade co-op Kuapa Kokoo. The Cocoa Partnership's success depends on the collaborations that are established with other companies, governments and NGOs. The challenges facing today's cocoa farmer cannot be solved by any one company or organization but only by working together, public and private sectors along with farmers and civil society, to make the difference. The company has recently extended its commitment to sustainable cocoa by incorporating a research track into the programme, recognising the need to increased cocoa productivity through improved planting material and farming practice.

Mars Incorporated

Mars is one of the world's major food manufacturers who’s long-term business depends on a sustainable supply of high-quality cocoa. Mars’ approach is to build a public/private network that helps promote and support these elements around the world in order to address the major challenges facing farmers and the industry. Mars is leading the way in cocoa research to help fill the gap left by years of underinvestment, especially in plant genetics and breeding, pest and disease control and post-harvest practices. They share relevant findings so they benefit the cocoa industry as a whole and reach farmers quickly and effectively. Mars fund and lead innovative programmes that will advance the industry's understanding of how to increase the quality and performance of cocoa plants and better control pests and disease. Its primary goals to advance global cocoa research are: (1) to increase collaboration between cocoa-producing and cocoa-consuming regions through stronger regional links and increased contact, (2) to create an effective common agenda across the industry to prioritize key issues within genetics, quality and agronomy, (3) to increase funding available to cocoa researchers and (4) to enhance the publication and dissemination of cocoa research. Mars is working on sequencing and annotating the cocoa genome in a partnership that includes IBM and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 2010, the consortium unveiled the initial results of its programme into the public domain, where they are permanently accessible via the Cocoa Genome Database. By making the results available to the industry and scientific community, the project partners are helping accelerate future cocoa research and the application of knowledge on the ground. Through its Sustainable Cocoa Initiative, Mars Chocolate invests tens of millions of dollars annually in cocoa-focused agricultural research, technology transfer programmes to increase yields and income for farmers in Africa and Asia, and certification programmes to promote acceptable conditions for farmers in its supply chain. Mars’s guiding principle is to put 'Farmers First,' by prioritizing activities through which farmers will achieve higher yields and larger incomes that will in turn support broader social development and better environmental protection. Mars supports the work of many partners including Bioversity, in improving the accessibility of farmers to planting materials and methodology. Mars supported the development of this Global Strategy and is an active member in CacaoNet and is current chairing the Network.


Nestlé is a leading chocolate manufacturer and a major user of cocoa. The group, headquartered in Switzerland, has a global footprint and is processing cocoa and cocoa products from all major producing origins. One of the group’s main concerns is the sustainability of cocoa production and the long-term availability of good quality cocoa. In this context, the Group launched in 2009 a major initiative, the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, which aims at improving the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities, to ensure that cocoa production will remain an attractive activity for farmers in the long run. The Nestlé Cocoa Plan puts a major emphasis on technical assistance to small planters, to increase farm productivity; in particular, Nestlé aims to provide better trees to growers to help them improve yields and reduce disease. Nestlé has for many years been involved in cocoa research. One of the major concentrations of Nestlé’s cocoa research is on tree selection and breeding. The Company has a modern platform of marker-assisted selection, which it uses, in collaboration with national research institutes, to accelerate the release of improved cocoa varieties to farmers in producing countries. In relation with this programme and the Cocoa Plan, Nestlé believes it is of the outmost importance to preserve cocoa genetic resources and promote their circulation and use. This is why strength of Nestlé’s cocoa research is cryopreservation, a technique of high relevance to complement field collections. Being aware that propagation is often a bottleneck, Nestlé has become a leader in cocoa tree propagation techniques. In particular, the Company has pioneered somatic embryogenesis (SE) for cocoa, a technique that has now been used towards the production of millions of trees around the world. Nestlé has transferred the technology to institutes in several producing countries and is putting a major effort in applying it through dedicated propagation structures for the distribution of productive varieties to farmers in Africa, Asia and the Americas. The ultimate objectives of our cocoa research are to serve the farmers, through more productive, better farming in compliance with our supplier code, to delight the consumer, through great tasting products made of the best quality cocoas and to improve the environment through a use of the land that is respectful of nature and farming communities.
More information on the Nestlé Cocoa Plan at: www.nestlecocoaplan.com

United States Department of Agriculture - USDA

USDA and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are currently supporting over 30 projects related to cacao. One of them is the Support of CacaoNet and INGENIC activities since 2009. The objectives for this joint Bioversity /USDA/ARS project are to collaborate with partners from the private and public sectors to encourage cacao genetic resource collections and cacao breeding programmes to commit germplasm, breeding lines and capacity, information, in-kind resources, and institutional support to fostering the global capacity to conserve, genetically-improve, and sustainably use cacao genetic resources. In addition USDA/ARS provides support to a number of other projects related to cacao GR including work at CATIE, CRU/UWI, ICQC,R and its own genetic diversity/genomics activities at Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Sub-Tropical Horticulture Research Station, Miami and Tropical Agricultural Station in Puerto Rico.

University of Reading, UK

The University of Reading has close links with the cocoa industry in both the UK and the producing countries and is involved in various international cocoa projects. It serves an important function as the only international quarantine centre (ICQC,R described below) for safe transfer of genetic cacao material throughout the world. The University of Reading also manages the International Cocoa Germplasm Database (ICGD) (described in Section 2.4.2 on behalf of the cacao community which serves as an important source of germplasm information.

World Agroforestry Centre - ICRAF

In collaboration with MARS and national stakeholders, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) implements the Vision for Change project in Cote d’Ivoire aimed at revitalizing the cocoa sector through the delivery of improved productivity package, including the supply of improved planting material to farmers. Clonal testing and selection, clonal propagation via clonal gardens and somatic embryogenesis, pests and diseases management as well as soil fertility management and crop diversification are the major interventions of the project to sustain productivity. Agronomic performances of selected and introduced clones are evaluated at multi-location trials. One major innovation proposed by the project is the grafting of budwood from an improved, selected variety onto the trunk or chupon of a mature unimproved tree. Clonal gardens are created at strategic locations to build the capacity to produce budwoods. Community-based participatory research approach is used to involve farmers in the process of selection and multiplication of good planting material for the regeneration of their ageing Cacao tree. Clonal propagation of superior germplasm via tissue culture (induction of somatic embryogenesis in cocoa explants and maturation of these embryos into plantlets) is also being explored. It is anticipated an increased capacity to supply and promote improved planting material that are high yielding, resistant to pest and diseases while maintaining the “West African” flavour. Farmers’ awareness on the need to regenerate their farms with superior cacao planting material and other good agricultural practices will be enhanced.

World Cocoa Foundation - WCF

WCF supports cacao farmers and their families worldwide. WCF members comprise a large part of the cocoa and chocolate private sector, and their programmes raise farmer incomes, encourage responsible, sustainable cacao farming and strengthen communities. WCF promotes a sustainable cocoa economy through economic and social development and environmental stewardship in cocoa-growing communities. WCF achieves its goals by: (1) building partnerships with cocoa farmers, origin governments and agricultural, development, and environmental organizations, (2) working with international donors to support effective programmes, (3) supporting and applying demand-led research that improves crop yield and quality and (4) supporting training and education that improves the health, safety and well-being of cocoa farming families. As well as direct support for the genetic resources effort including projects at CATIE and CRU/UWI, WCF has also invited presentations on Cacaonet/GR at its partnership meetings and provided meeting facilities for CacaoNet’s Steering Committee and working groups.