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Friday, December 1, 2023

Grant Opportunities: Call for Applications: Africa Cocoa Fund

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Deadline: 9-Sep-22

Are you a smallholder producer group or cooperative certified and/or a member of the UTZ or Rainforest Alliance certification system? Do you want to improve your capacity to implement data-driven and risk-based innovations to improve your certification process and create positive impact for the longer term for your members? If yes, then Apply for the Rainforest Alliance’s Africa Cocoa Fund (ACF) to support cocoa farmers and help preserve the local landscapes in West and Central Africa.

Through ACF’s support, certified smallholder producer groups, cooperatives and farmers or vulnerable members  who need support  will become empowered to monitor their performance, improving their ability to use and access data and enhance their capacity to make informed decisions for their long-term continuous improvement.

The Africa Cocoa Fund (ACF) has been set up to provide financial and technical assistance to:

  • Create measurable, long-lasting positive impact by building the capacity of those certified cocoa farmers who most need assistance to implement their certification standards for sustainable agriculture
  • Support sustainability projects for cocoa farmers and their landscapes beyond their certification requirements.

Two categories of interventions are available to be supported through the ACF.

  • Category A – Primary Focus
    • Interventions that support and build the capacity of certified cocoa farmers in West and Central Africa, who most need assistance to implement their standards and assurance requirements.
      • Addressing child labor: implementing CLMRS, Assess & Address, Remediation actions, and gender & youth inclusion
      • Geodata – location points and polygon collection: collecting location points and polygons to enable compliance with the High Conservation Value (HCV) areas, forest protection and protected area criteria of the standard
      • Digitization of IMS and traceability system: creating and maintaining records in digital format to increase trustworthiness and reliability of records, developing capacity for data analysis to enhance performance of the group, enabling groups to overcome quality and business challenges by making decisions backed by data and with cross-functional visibility.
  • Category B – Secondary Focus
    • Interventions that go beyond the requirements of their certification programs, but that are aligned with their organizational strategy and core intervention.
      • Income diversification
      • Skill development: coaching and negotiations, local advocacy, Internal Management System (IMS) and personal development
      • Landscape level issues: linking certification to landscape and communities including contribution of tree ownership to increased use of shade trees
      • Data-driven innovative solutions and scale up of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), soil health and other climate-smart strategies
      • Living income: proof of concept about paying living income to farmers
Funding Information
  • During this second call for applications they’ll distribute US$1,300,000 out of the total US$5 million fund. A producer group or cooperative can receive maximum two ACF grants during the lifetime of the fund (but not more than one grant per application period).
  • They expect a maximum of 20 awards this round
Eligibility Criteria

During this time window, the ACF encourages members and groups with common sustainability issues or challenges and who are operating in the same geographical area to consider sending joint applications.

  • You can apply if you are located in:
    • Côte d’Ivoire
    • Ghana
    • Cameroon
    • Nigeria, OR
    • you are a member or certificate holder or smallholder producer group with limited technical assistance support through supply chain partners or other channels, OR
    • You are member or certificate holder or smallholder producer group that already had ample access to technical assistance or you’re a private cooperative. Your application will be considered if
    • There is additional 1:1 co-financing by a supply chain actor or if
    • The initiative is part of a Public-Private Partnership.

For more information, visit https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/in-the-field/africa-cocoa-fund-application/

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