From Ghana to Magnum Ice Cream. Tracking Down the Organisation of Sustainable Cocoa Product Chains

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: From Ghana to Magnum Ice Cream. Tracking Down the Organisation of Sustainable Cocoa Product Chains
Authors: Borg, Josefin
Selmer, Julie K
Abstract: This master thesis will follow the product chain of cocoa from a sustainability perspective, from the cocoa farms in Ghana to the production of Magnum ice creams. The emphasis is on the organisational structure of the product chain, how it is managed to ensure sustainable sourced cocoa. The cocoa industry is complex with diverse range of actors. Not least in Ghana with the government as a regulator of the cocoa market. In addition, there are various associations, certification schemes, non-profit organisations, companies and numerous amounts of smallholder farmers that build-up the whole structure of the cocoa industry. There are thus considerable aspects to take into consideration when investigating such a product chain with its various actors and their perceptions of sustainability. The identified product chains in this study are structured with one big multi-national company, Unilever, at one side of the chain and smallholder farmers on the other end. Unilever has high targeted sustainability goals and has claimed that all the cocoa for its Magnum ice creams should be Rainforest Alliance (RA) certified by 2015. It makes the smallholder farming conditions critical to consider ensuring sustainable cocoa production and how the rest of the actors are aligned in their sustainability efforts. The cocoa farmers are typically facing significant challenges, both socioeconomic and environmental. The socioeconomic aspects consist of inadequate living conditions, low incomes, child labour, lack of knowledge and education among others. Some of the environmental challenges entail deforestation, loss of biodiversity, inappropriate chemical usage and climate change. The observed challenges stated by the farmers are being analysed in relation of what the other actors in the product chain think are of main importance. This is also connected to the industry actors’ sustainability driving forces and what sustainability actions they are taking. The main driving forces stated by the majority of the actors are productivity and improved farmer livelihoods. One outcome highlighted in this study is thus that support to the smallholders is of great essence. To enable this many of the actors in the product chain address that further collaborations are needed in excess of the ones already established. Along with this a comparison of RA certified farms with non-certified ones have been conducted. The focus has been to see what benefits there are for the farmers of being certified as well as other actors’ general view of certification schemes. The results show that farmers are very positive to RA, even more than the industry actors. Through education and training the farmers have increased their productivity significantly which has led to improved farmer incomes which in turn can lead to improved farmer livelihoods. The environmental benefits at farm level are also demonstrated through greenhouse gas emission (GHG) calculations. The newly developed GHG emission calculator, the Cool Farm Tool, has been used and assessed. The study proves that the sustainability transformation takes time and patience is required as well as joint efforts within the industry. Key words: Sustainable product chain management, sustainable agriculture, smallholder farming, cocoa, agri-food industry, Unilever, Cool Farm Tool, greenhouse gas calculator, certification schemes, Rainforest Alliance.
Keywords: Energi;Hållbar utveckling;Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap;Naturresursteknik;Miljöbioteknik;Industriell bioteknik;Energy;Sustainable Development;Earth and Related Environmental Sciences;Environmental Engineering;Environmental Biotechnology;Industrial Biotechnology
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för energi och miljö
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Energy and Environment
Series/Report no.: Report - Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology : 2012:18
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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