Interview with Merit Buama, Chairwoman of GISCO, on the occasion of the initiative's tenth anniversary

Ten eventful years have passed since the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO) was founded. Time to reflect on achievements and challenges, and to plan for the future.

We have taken the occasion of GISCO’s 10-year anniversary to ask chairwoman Merit Buama a few questions about the initiative’s work and cast a glance into the future with her.


Despite intensive efforts to improve the situation, there are still many challenges in the cocoa sector, such as poverty, child labour and deforestation. For the last decade, GISCO has been working to find ways to address these problems.


“We create a space where we can learn from each other,” says Merit Buama, and tells us how GISCO’s members are trying tackle those issues.


In its ten years of operation, GISCO can proudly point to a number of achievements, such as the successful cooperation with European partner organisations (ISCOs).


In this interview, Merit Buama introduces the project PRO-PLANTEURS, the joint project of GISCO, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Conseil du Café-Cacao. PRO-PLANTEURS works with more than 30.000 cocoa farming families in Côte d’Ivoire towards improving their incomes and professionalising the organisations they belong to.


“For the next 10 years of GISCO, I would like to see two things,” concludes Merit Buama.  “First, I would like us to focus on the living conditions of cocoa farmers even more than before. And secondly, I hope that we will continue to successfully discuss complex and controversial issues in a trustful and constructive manner among the various groups of stakeholders.”


Watch the entire interview here:


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Interview with Merit Buama

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