Produce Collection

Sections receive produce from members in their area and are responsible for weighing, collection, internal transport and payment.

Sections manage these activities through section executives, the section buying committee, and acceptance or storekeeper staff employed by the section.

Procedure

The Section storekeepers and members of the Section buying / Arbitration Committees are trained by MACEFCOOP.

The storekeeper is responsible for the collection of produce from members in collaboration with the Section buying committee on market days as decided by the section executive.

Produce collected from members is gathered in one or more locations within the villages that constitute the Section. These village stores are the responsibility of the Section Executive.

The Section storekeeper then requests a vehicle from the MACEFCOOP regional manager for evacuation of the produce to the most appropriate MACEFCOOP store.

Weighing

The section storekeeper and village buying committee members weigh the produce on arrival and exercise quality control.

After weighing, a receipt is issued to the farmer, net of any deductions, and the farmer's name is entered in the record book (Produce Purchase and …[PP&PB] booklet) which lists all those who have marketed produce through the section to MACEFCOOP.

Evacuation and Acceptance

Evacuation takes place once a vehicle arrives. The storekeeper and section executive member accompanies the driver with an original waybill plus a copy for each lot of produce evacuated by that driver from the section to the society store.

Once the produce arrives at the society store, the produce must be re-weighed and an acceptance waybill issued. The original acceptance waybill is handed to the main office through the regional manager and a copy together with the evacuation waybill copy is sent to the section through the section executive and storekeeper.

The storekeeper takes care of loading at the section level while off loading at the society store is the responsibility of the regional manager. With the produce at the section store it is more convenient for the section to evacuate to any designated society store.

Payment

With the receipt issued by the section storekeeper, the farmer can receive either an advance or complete payment from the section executive or storekeeper depending on the availability of cash and the quality of his /her produce. The standard section scaling weight is 68kg take with 65kg (2kg taken for section tare, 1kg for bag and 65kg cocoa for export). Humidity must be deducted from the farmer accordingly. The society shall receive and pay from the sections according to the weight after refraction at the society store or warehouse.

The regional manager ensures that all produce collected according to the warehouse/store weight after refraction and quality control from the section is paid within a reasonable delay depending on the contracted price with the society.

Initial payments are given to MACEFCOOP farmer members in cash at the time of the collection to meet the agreed selling price. The price is uniform throughout MACEFCOOP for the commodity – assuming the same quality and humidity content.

If insufficient cash is available to meet the entire price, then a credit note is provided for the remainder.

Terminology

Tare returns are deductions taken by Sections and MACEFCOOP.

Premium payments are the Fairtrade premium amounts used for community projects based on the decisions of the Premium Committees.

Bonuses are paid to members at the end of each season to reflect the profit after all expenses have been deducted. Theoretically, these expenses, such as the central factory and transportation, could result in no bonus, but the prices at which commodities are sold by MACEFCOOP will normally provide a sufficient buffer for expenses and any other unforeseen changes.

Dividend on shares. Share capital is held in a Credit Union interest-earning account and cannot normally be available as loan collateral. Annual dividends are paid to shareholders, who have voting rights. Shareholders’ stakes help to secure additional commitment to the society’s goals.

Subsidies on inputs. Chemicals are sold to members at the price paid by MACEFCOOP in Douala

Prefinance. Up to 60% of the contract price may be paid pre-FOB by buyers in accordance with Fairtrade provisions. This assists cashflow. The prefinance loans accrue annual interest rates of rates; = 8.25% (Gepa), 10% (Twin) = and 9% (A van Weely) but these are favourable compared with local short term loan at variable interest rates (19.25% in 2005).

Fairtrade incentive to members: the amount by which the Fairtrade price exceeds the prevailing world price, before the premium is added