INTRODUCTION: At a meeting of the Cocoa Producers alliance which opened in Abidjan on Monday (27 April), the Ivory Coast maintained its opposition to the proposed new International Cocoa Agreement negotiated last year.
(MUTE) SV Sacks of cocoa at dock.
CU Workers sifting through cocoa beans in sack and sacks stacked in warehouse. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN DOWN Agriculture Ministry building.
GV INTERIOR Denis Bra Kanon and other delegates taking seats at conference.
SV Delegates from Sao Tome, Colombia, Ecuador and Cameroon. (4 SHOTS)
(SOUND) CU Kanon speaking to delegates. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: At a meeting of the Cocoa Producers alliance which opened in Abidjan on Monday (27 April), the Ivory Coast maintained its opposition to the proposed new International Cocoa Agreement negotiated last year. The country's objection was based on the grounds that the minimum price of 2.42 U.S. dollars a kilogram was too low.
SYNOPSIS: Since the 1980 negotiations, big crop increases in the Ivory Coast have made it the world's biggest cocoa producer. This has contributed to the present world surplus of cocoa which has forced market prices down to below 2.10 dollars a kilogram. The Ivory Coast has continued to sell at low prices after failing last year to increase them by holding cocoa back from the market. But the country still demands a higher price range if it's to join the International Cocoa Agreement.
At the beginning of the Alliance's four-day meeting, Mr. Denis Bra Kanon, the Ivory Coast's Agricultural Minister, said the new agreement "blocked itself as a result of lack of realistic clauses". He said the proposed pact was "inoperative" and that producers should seek to defend themselves.
Mr. Kanon said the agreement seemed to be concerned with the needs of the consumer countries rather than exporting countries. The agreement, he said, was conceived to produce a price which would stand up in the free market instead of stabilising prices in the exporting countries themselves.