Lessons from the Bali International Cocoa Festival

Lessons from the Bali International Cocoa Festival


The Bali International Cocoa Festival (BICF) was held in Jembrana, Bali, on 27-30 August 2014. This festival was a time for actors in the cocoa sector to consolidate, to bring farmers and market actors closer, and to build a feeling of cooperation and greater access to the sustainable cocoa market.

The festival involved key partners not only from Indonesia but also from the Philippines, Vietnam, Germany and the United States. All actors, including cocoa exporters and processors, financial institutions, NGOs, government and farmers, sat down together to discuss cocoa sustainability.

Jembrana was host to the BICF because it is the centre of cocoa development in Bali. As well as government support, Jembrana also has the cooperative Koperasi Kerta Semaya Samaniya. This farmer organisation has developed certified cocoa bean marketing in partnership with Barry Callebaut.

The BICF was opened by the Minister of Cooperatives and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Syarif Hasan, on 28 August 2014. In his address, the minister said that cocoa is a mainstay commodity that contributes to world economic growth and to Indonesia's average per capita income.

Indonesia is currently ranked tenth in the world for economic growth, and second in Asia, after China. Average per capita income in 2014 was USD 3,000, up from USD 1,100 in 2004.

Dahlan from chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut explained that farmers are key partners, not potential partners. "Cocoa is a sustainable industry. The cocoa industry will be sustainable if farmers believe that cocoa can offer the promise of a sustainable livelihood," said Dahlan.

The BICF also included field visits to the gardens of cocoa farmers and to Koperasi Kerta Senaya Semaniya processing unit in Nusasari village, in the Melaya subdistrict of Jembrana. The main business of this farmer cooperative is "collective marketing of cocoa". The cocoa is produced by 1,119 cocoa farmers from 22 farmer groups who are members of the cooperative.

This cocoa farmer cooperative has organic cocoa certification.

One lesson learned from the visit to Koperasi Kerta Semaya Saminya was that the farmers are able to ferment cocoa beans and sell them collectively to the cooperative. And that the cooperative has been able to negotiate a contract with Barry Callebaut, and secure a price premium of IDR 4,000-IDR 5,000 /kg for its fermented cocoa.

Another key point on the agenda at the BICF was the business gathering in the offices of the Jembara district head after dinner on 30 August 2014. Farmer organisations supported by VECO Indonesia that were involved in this session were Jantan and Sikap from Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, and Amanah and Masagena, VECO partners from Sulawesi.

Following this business gathering, partnerships have been established with cocoa firms. Wasiat, Amanah and Masagena have signed a memorandum of understanding with futures market agency Equilibrium, represented by Rico Manayang; and Jantan and Sikpa have signed contracts with Pagilarang.

The signing of these contracts is a significant step towards cocoa sustainability and better cooperation between farmer organisations and cocoa firms. This is a first stop to opening the door to future collaboration, particularly in terms of strengthening the capacity of human resources. [Muhamad Akil (Wasiat), Albertus Sani Sogen (Jantan), Syarif Taba (FO FA Sulawesi), and Maria Beribe (FO FA Flores)]