Oikocredit’s € 5 million loan to Ocean SA boosts cocoa and cashew value chains in Côte d’Ivoire

Social impact investor Oikocredit has renewed its partnership with Ocean SA, a Côte d’Ivoire-based exporter of cocoa beans and raw cashew nuts and part of the Cocoasource group, with a further € 5 million loan.

Ocean SA has made its mark for over a decade by trading cocoa and cashews. Its strong export focus on European markets includes partnership with mission-driven buying companies such as Tony’s Chocolonely.

Oikocredit’s new funding continues a fruitful relationship initiated in 2017 with its first € 1 million cocoa trade finance line to Ocean. This resulted in a transfer of more than € 3.5 million to Ocean’s partner smallholder cooperatives in 2022-2023, distributed as cash payments to farmers for the sale of their cocoa and used to finance community social infrastructure.

The new loan will enable Ocean to directly sustain up to 24 jobs, enhance its sourcing and export of certified cocoa beans and raw cashews, and inject much-needed liquidity into underprivileged growing areas in Côte d’Ivoire.

As Côte d’Ivoire navigates the fluctuations in cocoa production due to adverse weather in 2023-2024, Oikocredit remains focused on enhancing agricultural resilience and sustainability. Recognising the potential in sectors like cashew cultivation, Oikocredit is committed to diversifying agricultural investments to support economic stability, improve biodiversity, and uplift the livelihoods of local farmers. This strategic approach ensures a robust agricultural framework, fostering long-term sustainability and prosperity for communities in Côte d’Ivoire.

Tomas de la Serna, Managing Director of Ocean, said: “Local banks often hesitate to finance the agricultural sector. Oikocredit’s loan facility is pivotal in ensuring a successful cocoa and cashew crop season. This, in turn, provides the farmers with funds for pre-harvest activities and loans for their children’s education.”

Yves Komaclo, Oikocredit’s Investment Manager for West Africa, said: “We are thrilled to continue our support for Ocean during the cocoa and cashew seasons. With Oikocredit’s backing, Ocean is poised to pre-finance its partner cooperatives and increase the volume of traceable and sustainably sourced commodities. Our collaboration has made significant strides in supporting farmers in remote areas, and we are eager to further this impact.”

About Ocean SA

Based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire’s largest city and economic capital, and founded in 2013, Ocean SA is a leading commodities trading company specialising in cocoa and cashew exports. With a decade-long presence in the industry, Ocean is committed to sustainable trading practices that support local farmers and communities. Ocean has been an Oikocredit partner since 2017.

About Cocoasource

Cocoasource is a commodity trading company founded in 2007 and headquartered in Switzerland. Its subsidiaries in Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Togo and Uganda source traceable products and implement sustainability programmes.

The group markets cocoa, cashews, rubber, sesame and soya, much of it certified Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or organic. It is committed to supply chain transparency and to long-lasting initiatives that enable supplier farmers and their communities to improve their quality of life. For more information, visit www.cocoasource.com

About Oikocredit

Social impact investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit has nearly five decades of experience funding organisations active in financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy.

Oikocredit’s loans, equity investments and capacity building aim to enable people on low incomes in Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve their living standards sustainably.

Oikocredit finances more than 500 partners, with total development financing capital outstanding of € 1,084.7 million (at December 2023). For more information, visit www.oikocredit.coop.


This article was initially published by Oikocredit.