ECOOKIM was founded in 2004 and Fairtrade certified since 2010. The union’s core objective is to ensure that cocoa farmers receive a greater share of the profits by selling directly on the international cocoa market. Members also have access to services such as technical assistance, training and pre-purchase financing.
Part of the Fairtrade Premium money, which is democratically agreed upon, have been used towards increasing the quality of their members’ cocoa and the productivity of their cocoa farms.
Now around eight in ten farmer members have been trained in Good Agricultural Practices, which include correct fermentation and drying processes. ECOOKIM has also constructed two storage warehouses and upgraded drying racks. As a result, around 90 percent of members can deliver cocoa that is eligible for the international market.
Regular training help the members implement the Fairtrade standards, such as the safe handling of pesticides, the use of compost and the prevention of soil erosion.
Selling cocoa on Fairtrade terms has also brought many benefits to the local communities. Projects carried out with the Fairtrade Premium funds include programs to raise awareness of child labor issues and initiatives to strengthen the position of the cooperative’s female members.