ODF’s commitment to making a positive impact on the world through sustainable and ethical investments has led to our latest investment into Sierra Leone’s organic cocoa industry. In November 2022, ODF disbursed a $1 million, 6-month facility, to an organic cocoa-sourcing company in Sierra Leone.
Nearly 90% of the world’s cocoa is grown by smallholder farmers and close to 50 million people depend on cocoa for their livelihood. In cocoa-producing countries farmers rely on cocoa for as much as 60 to 90 percent of their income. The use of harmful chemicals, unethical working conditions, child labour, and indiscriminate land clearance are still common. This harms the environment, the welfare of women and children, and perpetuates the cycle of poverty for farmers.
In Sierra Leone cocoa is the 5th largest export commodity. ODF’s investment therefore has a real role to play not just for Sierra Leone’s economy, but the livelihoods of thousands of smallholder cocoa farmers.
Through its investment, ODF will reach nearly 30,000 farmers, who access technical assistance, training on sustainable and ethical agricultural practices (including Organic, Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance certification) and pre-financing for their harvest. Certification facilitates access to premium markets, and a better farmgate price for producers. ODF’s investee actively supports women and youth to engage in safe cocoa production and processing, and leads by example through value chain traceability, combating deforestation and child labour mitigation; and achieving (re)forestation goals.
This investment is the third that ODF has disbursed since launching our groundbreaking impact-first supply chain finance fund in January 2022.