CocoaSafe: SPS capacity building and knowledge sharing on cocoa in South East Asia

Start Date 
End Date 

CocoaSafe: SPS capacity building and knowledge sharing on cocoa in South East Asia

The overall development goal of this project is to produce and trade cocoa that meets food safety and phytosanitary standards.  To do this, the work has the objectives of (i) improving food safety and SPS practices along the cocoa supply chain in Indonesia, Malaysia and PNG and (ii) increasing awareness of SPS issues among supply chain stakeholders through innovative knowledge dissemination.


Most of the cocoa in the Southeast Asia region is produced by smallholder farmers (who usually belong to farmer groups) but productivity is typically low, with quality of cocoa beans average or good.  Yields are threatened by constraints including pests and diseases such as cocoa pod borer, vascular streak dieback and Phytophthora pod rot.  In smallholder systems best practice is rarely applied in cocoa production and produce can be contaminated during the production stage (e.g. by pesticides) but also during drying and storage (postharvest storage, collection by local traders, exporters and processors), and processing steps. 

Measures are needed to minimise the levels of harmful substances in cocoa products, particularly as cocoa-producing countries face potential trade barriers as a result of increasing numbers of legislative and regulatory measures on food safety.  High value markets such as the EU, Japan and the US enforce legislation on imported foodstuffs, including raw and processed materials such as cocoa, so developing capacity in conforming to SPS regulations (such as maximum contaminant levels) is now a priority in many developing countries.  Across Southeast Asia cocoa export is an important source of income for the livelihoods of thousands of smallholder farmers. Continued compliance with these standards ensures producing countries can retain market access, secure producer livelihoods and strengthen consumer confidence in cocoa products from the region.

Expected Results 

Improved capacity of SPS and GAP knowledge amongst project stakeholders

The project will train lead farmers in co-operatives and local extension staff in SPS issues, as well as training for agro-dealers (recognising that agro-dealers are an important source of knowledge). This training will enhance their understanding of Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (SPS) as well as on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and build their ability to pass on accurate information to their customers and peers; the producers. Training materials will include curricula to raise awareness and best practice in GAP, to reduce chemical use or promote their appropriate application.  These materials will include manuals, equipment and materials for demonstrations, exercises and presentations. Material from participating countries will be synthesised from the best available material in participating countries and beyond. Training of Master Facilitators (TOMF) will be conducted in Malaysia and Indonesia and will enable them to conduct training of trainers (TOT). Traders and processors are other target groups for training, so that the project addresses postharvest approaches. The reach and immediate impact of the work will be assessed through questionnaires and indicators such as changes to production, compliance and income levels (through baseline surveys and impact assessments).

Effective knowledge sharing and flow between key organizations, project stakeholders, regional and international SPS authorities, and beyond

Knowledge sharing and flow will be encouraged and facilitated among project participants but also communicated more widely through awareness raising of the project activities to other organizations and the wider public.  We will promote and facilitate knowledge sharing between project stakeholder groups (key organizations and participants) and raise awareness among cocoa stakeholders beyond the direct interventions of the project. Creation of a ‘Knowledge Exchange Platform’ and website will permit knowledge sharing between project participants in each country and to other interested parties and the public; reach beyond the projects participants will be possible through the website and the development of printed materials (in English and Bahasa).  A private access area of the website will be accessible to all project participants, as a unified resource dedicated to SPS/GAP/quality in cocoa. Best practice and lessons learned from training activities will also be shared via the knowledge exchange platform. Through this, and stakeholder workshops, we will facilitate linkages and encourage cooperation between project participants, including private enterprises and public organizations to ensure the whole approach to food safety in cocoa is more cohesive.


Videos about the CocoaSafe Project are available here (general video in English) and here (Malaysian project website).

Reference Number 
Project Value (US$) 
STDF Contribution (US$)  
Papua New Guinea
Implementing Entities 
CAB International (CABI)
Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute (ICCRI)
International Cocoa Organization (ICCO)
Malaysian Cocoa Board (MCB)
Papua New Guinea Cocoa and Coconut Research Institute (PNG-CCIL)