Harmonised Standards for Cocoa Products in EAC
Harmonised standards for products across EAC create consistency of laws, regulations and practices. They protect consumer health and facilitate the movement of products from one country to another. The East Africa Standards Committee, through its subcommittees and technical committees, takes the lead in developing harmonised standards for MARKUP priority products. MARKUP implemented by GIZ supports the Standards Committee through capacity building measures to impart the high-level knowledge and skills needed for the development and harmonisation of standards.
A gap analysis undertaken by MARKUP in 2019 established that about 60% of the priority MARKUP value chains did not have harmonised standards, among them all commodities falling under the cocoa value chain.
In 2020, MARKUP held two national consultations on cocoa standards for Burundi and Rwanda in January and February 2020. Standards under the spotlight were cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa powders and chocolate and chocolate products. Understanding and being able to meet international standards on this range of cocoa products will help local cocoa producers and everyone along the cocoa value chain to capitalise on growing global demand, as well as simply being able to present a world class product to market.
These meetings involved national authorities concerned with food safety and standards, such as the bureaus of standards and relevant ministries, chambers of commerce and industry as well as private sector representatives such as farmers’ and processors’ associations, insurance companies and cooperatives. The workshops collected and compiled the comments on four draft standards for cocoa and cocoa products, to be submitted first to the EA Standards Technical Committee on Coffee, Cocoa and related products for consideration and further submission to the EA Standards Committee for approval.