In the last months we have prioritised supporting the VOICEnetwork with a COVID-19 cocoa farm response. While we had actually planned to be working on mid-season harvest engagement, the coronavirus implications dramatically changed priorities through the cacao world. Dramatically, we saw extension services stop due to physical distancing measures. Cacao sales slowed or stopped for farmers and they reported an increase in vulnerability as their access to food and finances diminished. In response, we focused the collaborative attention towards reviewing actions directly with industry representatives, delayed academic publishing and contributed to early steps for universal access to health care in West Africa.
1. Response to COVID-19 with VOICE network
Contributing to the VOICEnetwork for this call to action in response to COVID-19 with Antonie Fountain and Friedel Hütz-Adams with our negotiation with companies, civil service organisations and unilaterals in chocolate and cacao trade. Specifically, we are tracking commitments made by companies, mapping it to data from civil service organisations and situation analysis of the health status of cacao farmers. We are very lucky to benefit from the extensive and intense network of the VOICE network which is NGOs in various crops and regions to advise us of realities in areas and related issues. COVID-19 in the cocoa farm has been presenting serious issues, besides the health ones, from the immediate financial impact, worsening of food security vulnerabilities and human rights challenges.https://www.voicenetwork.eu/covid-19-response/
And also here outlined by Unternehemensgruen, German Federation of Green Economy, about why such a response is important for sustainable business.
Lyss is preparing articles from recent research for journal publication regarding training, multifactorial impacts in health, livelihood and productivity, and the combination of both. And drinking a lot of (virtual) coffee responding to helpful contributions from her professors, Professor David Guest and Professor Merrilyn Walton, from the University of Sydney where they have completed long-term transdisciplinary research into environmental science and public health factors in cocoa farming.
3. Universal access to healthcare
We are supporting engagement between civil service organisations and private cacao/chocolate companies in the idea to 1) co-finance access to universal healthcare 2) leverage business operations to deliver farmer-friendly access to health care and social protection measures.
About NOW pages
This page is inspired by Derek Sivers and the concept of a #now page, which describes current priorities. More here. We think visitors here are interested in our current projects because they want to see what’s up, or join in. We are a bit allergic to marketing yet realise we need to talk about things. This is our way of doing it that matches our values to stay true to our topic, yet somehow talk about what is going on.