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For-Benefit Cocoa Value Chains


Oct 24th, 2019 | Berlin, Germany


A side event at the World Cocoa Foundation's 2019 Partnership Meeting

We invite you to join a roundtable during the 2019 World Cocoa Foundation Partnership Meeting in Berlin. The session will bring together leading companies, industry bodies, development institutions, NGOs, and experts to explore opportunities around scaling ‘for-benefit’ enterprises in the cocoa value chain in West Africa.

About This Event

There are numerous existing initiatives driven by major cocoa companies, multi-stakeholder organizations, and national governments that have for years, even decades, sought to address the challenges facing the cocoa value chain. Important work is being implemented focused on farmer productivity, training and livelihoods, deforestation, women’s empowerment, youth employment, and human rights issues such as child labor. 

But bolder action is needed. In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to ensure companies – including those in the cocoa sector – can address the social and environmental challenges in their supply chains, we need to rapidly transition economic systems globally to incentivize and support market-based solutions and to promote sustainable, inclusive business models. Corporate purchasing power offers a promising pathway. It can be leveraged to create large scale demand for sustainable business models across global value chains, encouraging suppliers to better deliver social and environmental benefits while reducing harms. 

This session builds on a series of consultations and workshops held at the World Economic Forum, the Bellagio Center, and The British Academy, over the past year. With support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and in collaboration with CARE and the African Development Bank, the Fourth Sector Group will bring together a multi-stakeholder group to share findings from our analysis of the for-benefit ecosystem for cocoa in West Africa, and invite participants to engage in a robust, action-oriented discussion focused on identifying opportunities for interventions that could accelerate the integration of for-benefits in the cocoa value chain. This session will also provide critical inputs into the design of pilot initiatives, informing an upcoming session hosted by the African Development Bank later this year.


The cocoa value chain in West Africa in particular is a focus for testing the feasibility of for-benefit procurement – mapping the for-benefit ecosystem and identifying opportunities for interventions that could accelerate the integration of for-benefits in the cocoa value chain, and thereby address a range of social and environmental challenges facing the industry. 


For-Benefit Enterprises and the SDGs


Today’s urgent social and environmental challenges are largely consequences of outmoded economic systems and business models rooted in the industrial age. This business-as-usual approach incentivizes short-term financial gain over long-term sustainable value creation. And the current ecosystem (policy, metrics, investment) is designed to reward and perpetuate this legacy approach. 


Many of today’s global challenges are largely downstream consequences of outmoded economic systems and business models that incentivize short-term financial gain over long-term sustainable value creation. Responding to the scale, urgency and complexity of these challenges demands that we fundamentally rethink business-as-usual. For-benefit enterprises are a promising pathway for such a transformation.


For-benefit enterprises are neither for-profit nor non-profit; they are hybrid organizations whose primary purpose is delivering social and environmental benefit, alongside commercial gains. For-benefits constitute a fourth sector of the economy which has been emerging at the intersection of the private, public, and nonprofit sectors for decades. Because they are not driven by profit maximization, they often structure their business model to advance their mission and values in a variety of ways, such as paying more equitable wages, providing better working conditions, making community investments, and reducing their environmental footprint. Scaling this sector by trillions is critical to achieving the 2030 Agenda. 

As a streamlined, systemic strategy for contributing to the SDGs, global companies can leverage their buying power to create demand for for-benefits in their value chains by instituting a procurement preference for them. This will incentivize new for-benefit entrants and conversions of existing players, thus improving social and environmental outcomes throughout value chains and delivering across all the SDGs. To help meet this demand, government, investors and other actors can in turn help to develop the capacity and broader enabling environment required for for-benefit transformation of value chains.

quote mark WHT.png

“A surge of “for-benefit” companies at the intersection of the traditional private, public and non-profit sectors will be critical in delivering on the SDGs by 2030.”     

- World Economic Forum

Session Objectives

  • Update participants on the development of a cross-industry For-Benefit Value Chains Alliance, comprised of large corporations, suppliers, governments, NGOs, and other key stakeholders in the value chain ecosystem – including the cocoa value chain. Invite participation and input into the process, including the development of a For-Benefit Procurement Guide and other tools underway;

  • Gather input and insights from actors in the cocoa value chain on the design of pilot initiatives which will be further developed at a related African Development Bank / Fourth Sector Group West Africa convening later in 2019.


Kenneth D. Johnson
Senior Consultant, Strategic Value Chain Management, African Development Bank
Zahra Khan
Engagement Manager, CARE Consulting
Heerad Sabeti
CEO, Fourth Sector Group

We very much hope you can join us!

For questions, contact Francesca Mondello at

Register Berlin


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