The perspectives of moving towards sustainability of chain actors differ and often are an expression of own survival in the long run. In that sense, the efforts of PT Mars of securing their supply of cocoa, has resulted in sustainable changes in the cocoa chains on Flores.
1. Farmers’ organizational and marketing abilities improved
a. To do business, both FO’s realized that registration is a basic requirement if you want establish a sustainable trading relationship with buyers. The opportunity of selling Wet Cocoa Beans to PT Mars, gave a boost to JANTAN as a business organization. Later in 2010, SIKAP also entered this field facilitated by VECO-Indonesia and received the status of association. JANTAN is recognized as Multi-Purpose Cooperative, which makes it easier to start business activities and to investment as it is able to accumulate some capital. Also the government tends to be more supportive to cooperatives.
b. The negotiation position of farmer families improved a lot. A good example is the negotiation of the farmer organizations with the government to obtain a cocoa seedling nursery. They also obtained land use rights to build a cocoa processing unit in Nangapanda district. In East Flores, through JANTAN, farmer families successfully negotiated a price with local traders of USD 1.18 to 1.42 per kilogram dried beans.
2. Farmers’ organisations resilience for coping and adapting to new situations has increased
a. JANTAN has to adjust to the new situation (no more wet beans), but should be able to sell dried beans during 2011. The changes in PT MARS policy to buy dry beans has motivated SIKAP to process its own beans more systematically with the needed moisture content. The fermentation is another possibility but takes some time to be organized both for SIKAP and JANTAN. The fermentation boxes (JANTAN) are only covering part of the capacity needed for members, but serve as a model to introduce this technology in the area. These boxes are easy to construct and materials are cheap.
b. With the new situation, the farmers are facing changes that need to be tackled very fast. PT Mars change of policy has encouraged them to train the farmers to do their own processing. This has resulted in processed, better quality Cocoa beans for which a better price will be paid.
c. Farmers’ organizations have the capacity to attract new business partners. Through this development they are able to sell larger volumes of Cocoa beans to different buyers.
d. As a result of the change in PT MARS purchasing policy, JANTAN and SIKAP do not have sufficient funds to purchase wet cocoa beans from farmers, the funds which were previously provided by PT MARS. The number of farmer members paying membership fees is still low because the administration systems are still inefficient. However, thanks to the collaboration and negotiation with the new traders, the collective marketing activity of the organisation continued.
3. The skills of farmers are strengthened (technical, economical, organizational)
Farmers of JANTAN and SIKAP have been trained on different issues. This has resulted in changes:
– At the farmer level: more frequent harvesting, pruning, fertilizing and sanitation activities as a result of the dissemination of last year’s farmer field school results.
– At the processing level: at SIKAP processing units are used to process the cocoa, while at JANTAN the processing is done by the farmers. This means their knowledge and skills in processing quality cocoa is growing.
– At the marketing level: Several members of farmer groups that are members of SIKAP and JANTAN are able to negotiate prices for the Indonesian National Standard quality cocoa with local traders.
– At the organizational level: Women are starting to play a clearer role in JANTAN, above all in marketing. This is partially because of the sustainability criteria that PT Mars helped to develop and partially because of the program that VECO developed with the farmer organizations. However, the role of women in the cocoa production stays more centred around the initial stages, while men have the control over farm planning, selling and decisions concerning new technologies.
4. Consumer’s demand is better satisfied
Mars Incorporated’s business value is to consistently deliver quality and value for money that customers want with efficient and reliable service. They try to do this by satisfying the consumer’s demand for chocolate and chocolate products and by predicting this demand in the future.