German fair trade organisation buys cocoa from Sao Tome and Principe

1 November 2013

GEPA, Germany and Europe’s largest fair trade organisation, over the next few years plans to increase the amount of cocoa it buys from Sao Tome and Principe, African news agency Panapress reported.

The news agency said that German agronomists were in Sao Tome and Principe working on getting organic certification for the cocoa cooperative Cooperativa de Exportação de Cacau de Qualidade (CECAQ 11), in central Sao Tome and Principe.

According to the source, trade between GEPA and CECAQ 11, which have been working together for three years, is worth around 400,000 euros.

CECAQ 11 is a cooperative of around 600 farmers, whilst GEPA has links with around 190 cooperatives all over Africa, Latin America and Asia.

This year CECAQ expects to sell around 200 tons of dried cocoa to GEPA, according to Stephan Beck, an agronomist coordinating research on production techniques at CECAQ 11 with a view to getting organic certification.

GEPA, which is also considered to be Europe’s largest alternative trade organisation, controls five region fair trade centres in Germany and supplies around 800 stores around the world, thousands of action groups and super market networks and retailers, canteens, student associations and conference centres, amongst other organisations.

GEPA stands for “Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Partnerschaft mit der Dritten Welt mbH”, and can be translated as “Society for Promotion of Partnership with the Third World.” (macauhub)