Sierra Leone has faced many challenges in recent history. Internal conflict followed by the Ebola crisis caused the cocoa market to collapse, leaving many cocoa farmers with difficult access to the world market. In 2015, Tradin Organic started working with these farmers to set up an organic certified cocoa sourcing project. We configured a local control system with dedicated quality coordinators and invested in trainings and registration for farmers. This allowed us to successfully pass the organic audit and start exporting organic cocoa.
With our organic cocoa production in full swing, our activities in Sierra Leone are growing rapidly. We have our own sourcing and exporting office in Kenema and have trained a team of quality coordinators who ensure optimum quality. Each bag of cocoa beans is registered so they can be traced back to their respective farmer, and then transported by our own truck drivers to our warehouse in Kenema. Here our team checks the quality of the cocoa beans, before preparing the bags for export to the Crown of Holland facility.
Our organic cocoa project in Sierra Leone is creating new opportunities for cocoa farmers. The farmers now have access to the world market and they receive an organic premium for their cocoa. For the future, we are planning to expand our program of farmer trainings, which aims to help our farmers to increase their productivity and income.