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  • Presentation
  • Context
  • Objectives & Results
  • Activities
  • Participants
  • Program
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Presentation

3rd edition of the International Conference on Certification of major agricultural export products with all stakeholders of producer and consumer countries.

CARREFOUR EXCHANGE FOR HUNDREDS OF PARTICIPANTS


Specialists, chain actors, funding agencies, public authorities, NGOs, industry ... give themselves appointment in Abidjan to share their experiences on the certification.


Context

To achieve this level of change of scale, we need a new way of working, the one linking markets (developed and developing ones); producers (great and small); policy makers, civil society and activists in order to offer a comprehensive landscape approach to manage the production of products.
The only credible long-term solution for markets defined by millions of different products and supply chain links is regulation based on a solid jurisdictional landscape. A strong public policy approach not only has a stronger democratic mandate but is also more effective than trying to "regulate privately" millions of commodities and raw materials.
Therefore, the implementation of programs or initiatives that promote innovative business models could provide an enabling environment for the adoption of sustainable standards.
In order to find ways to improve the certification process and improve the involvement of all players in the value chain, we felt it was a good idea to organize the Third Edition of ICC under the theme "Beyond Certification » Although there is no clear definition of "Beyond certification", some examples and solutions exist and could provide a basis for reflection on the achievement of the objectives of the Conference.
EXPECTED OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS
The general objective assigned to the conference is to create an international platform for experience sharing of the various actors intervening in the certification process and also to make Cote d'Ivoire the think tank of sustainable agriculture given the stakes represented by agriculture in its economy . The third edition of this Conference aims to deepen the discussions at ICC 2014 and 2015, and to integrate more players in the value chain, notably industry and consumer countries.
Agriculture faces a new societal demand for healthy and quality farming practices for the environment. Subsequently, due to the heightened requirements of consumers on social realities and living conditions in producing areas, it is important to impart added value to farmers’ products with a view to establishing a model of sustainable agriculture by generating a production chain that is more conscious of people and of the environment.
In addition, in the light of these issues, there is a need to reposition all export crop sectors to empower them for more competitiveness and profitability.
The concern for cocoa was brilliantly highlighted by H.E. Allassane Ouattara at the official opening of the World Conference on Cocoa in November 2012 as he declared: «The challenge for a sustainable Cocoa economy is consumption and this requires a sustainable manufacturing program based on a sustainable production of cocoa». This is equally valid for other products such as coffee, palm oil, cashew, cotton shea butter, rubber, fruits etc.
Thus the development of a sustainable economy is the best solution in the fight against poverty. Promoting the development of each specific crop in a process of simplification, (especially in sustainable production) will facilitate a holistic approach to certification.
As a result, the certification of agricultural products is an essential tool to fight poverty and therefore an important remedy to achieve a sustainable development that will solve problems related to the protection of the environment and increase the income and improve the social conditions of producers. In this context, the first international conference on “Sustainable Agriculture: Stakes and Perspectives of Certification” was held in Yamoussoukro from September 16 to 18, 2014 with more than 220 people participating. The second edition took place from 08 to 10 December 2015 in Abidjan under the theme "Certification: tool for competitiveness and valorization of agricultural products" with the participation of 200 people.

At the end of the first two editions and following the various recommendations made during the workshops and plenary sessions and despite the numerous initiatives and projects under way, it should be noted that the certification process must be improved and go beyond the standards themselves. Most sustainability standards are not designed to generate scale changes in order to allow the registration of the global production of a commodity or of all the products of a supermarket. The certification was not proved to be the right vehicle for the adoption of the criteria although their scientific conformity is consistent. Instead, the focus is on the standard, not on the business model.

To achieve this level of change of scale, we need a new way of working, the one linking markets (developed and developing ones); producers (great and small); policy makers, civil society and activists in order to offer a comprehensive landscape approach to manage the production of products.
The only credible long-term solution for markets defined by millions of different products and supply chain links is regulation based on a solid jurisdictional landscape. A strong public policy approach not only has a stronger democratic mandate but is also more effective than trying to "regulate privately" millions of commodities and raw materials.
Therefore, the implementation of programs or initiatives that promote innovative business models could provide an enabling environment for the adoption of sustainable standards.
In order to find ways to improve the certification process and improve the involvement of all players in the value chain, we felt it was a good idea to organize the Third Edition of ICC under the theme "Beyond Certification » Although there is no clear definition of "Beyond certification", some examples and solutions exist and could provide a basis for reflection on the achievement of the objectives of the Conference.

EXPECTED OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS

The general objective assigned to the conference is to create an international platform for experience sharing of the various actors intervening in the certification process and also to make Cote d'Ivoire the think tank of sustainable agriculture given the stakes represented by agriculture in its economy . The third edition of this Conference aims to deepen the discussions at ICC 2014 and 2015, and to integrate more players in the value chain, notably industry and consumer countries.

Specific objectives

  • Make a general overview of the certification
  • Outline the impact of certification on marketing and market access
  • Involve all actors in the value chain to a better membership by promoting partnerships
  • promote the legal and regulatory framework
  • Share experiences in innovative approaches.

Expected results

The third Edition of ICC aims at the following results:

  • A roadmap is defined by the participants in order to identify and address issues that go beyond certification
  • Certification becomes a tool for compliance with market access criteria
  • A better way to take into account all the issues related to sustainable agriculture in development of certification standards.

Topics

  • Public-Private Partnership
    • National and regional policies and strategies
  • Challenges of processing
  • Contribution of agrochemicals companies
  • South-South markets
  • Social aspects :
    • Child labour
    • Gender empowerment
    • Labour rights
  • Environemental issues
    • Climate change and deforestation
  • Role of verifying bodies to improve sustainability
  • Market opportunities
  • Imapct of certification
  • Premium
  • Food safety and certification
  • Innovative tools for certification : traceability, banking

Activities

The conference will be held over 3 days from September 26 to 28, 2015 in Abidjan

The working languages will be French and English.

  • KEY POINTS
    • This is the first conference (of its kind) with a focus on major export crops.
    • It provides an opportunity to involve all stakeholders in one of the biggest problems of sustainable agriculture
    • The conference is of an international scope with over 500 guests and delegates taking part.
  • MAIN ACTIVITIES
    • Opening and Closing ceremonies
    • Plenary sessions
    • Workshops
    • B 2 B meetings
    • Exhibition stands
    • Gala dinner and an open air lunch

 

Participants

Under the supervision of the Ivorian authorities, this international conference, (the first of its kind) will bring together all stakeholders involved in sustainable agriculture primarily in certification including :
  • Producers
  • Manufacturers
  • Cooperative organizations
  • Importers
  • Regulatory bodies
  • Certification organizations
  • Public authorities
  • Financial institutions
  • International organizations and development partners (World Bank, PNUD, FAO, etc.)
  • Embassies
  • NGO and consumers associations

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