Training of the Sustainable Agriculture Standards, Indonesia
In Indonesia, the industry has seen declines in both quality and yields in recent years. This and the global demand for certified cocoa led ECOM to consider Indonesia as another country of priority for its sustainable initiatives.
In 2011, ECOM hired a local Manager for Sustainable Cocoa. After identifying an initial group of 500 farmers in Binuang District (Polman), he started to train and mobilize lead farmers who would then deliver training on the Sustainable Agriculture Standards in order to pass the Rainforest Alliance Certified certification. Today ECOM’s local company, TMCI, is comprised of four field facilitators, each following 250 farmers. At the end of 2011, ECOM completed its first Rainforest Alliance Certified audit in Indonesia with more than 1,000 farmers.
By developing this initiative, ECOM expects to have more control on the quality and traceability of the cocoa. The good-quality, certified cocoa will naturally be subject to a premium that would benefit the farmers and their communities. The increase of their income will also come from the yield increase they will enjoy thanks to good practices learned through training.