SECTION STORES

Inwards

Farmers transport their cocoa to local village stores by bicycle, wheelbarrow, push-push or hired truck. The village store where the produce is gathered is the responsibility of the section executive.

The cocoa is then transferred to the cooperative and is initially stored at a Section store.

The farmer will receive a receipt for the entire amount that he sells to the Section but may receive only a part-payment initially, depending on the cash-flow situation of the Society.

Collection from the Section store depends on road conditions and availability of MACEFCOOP vehicles.

What happens next depends on whether the cocoa is marketed locally or is destined for the Fairtrade export market.

If for export:

Taken to the factory areafor blending and sorting by hand to achieve the homogenous grade, colour, size, etc.

Dried to correct moisture content (7.5%) for safe storage and export.

Bagged.

Transported to Douala for export.

If for local market:

Bagged

Sold locally

Purchase

MACEFCOOP now buys all the cocoa of the requisite standard that is offered by its members. The price paid reflects the higher Fairtrade price but because of the limited FT market not all cocoa can be sold under FT terms. By increasing the proportion sold on Fairtrade terms the price paid to the farmers can be increased and this is one of the aims of the cooperative.

The sections employ a storekeeper or appoint section members who are trained by the society to purchase cocoa based on the quality criteria. The storekeeper is responsible for the collection of produce from members, in collaboration with the section buying committee at times determined by the section executive.

The section storekeeper will request transport from the regional manager to evacuate purchased produce to the society stores.

Weighing Procedure

The Section storekeeper and buying committee members are responsible for the quality assessment and weighing of produce. After weighing, a receipt is issued to the farmer indicating deductions etc. Details are also entered in the main ledger.

Evacuation takes place when transport is available. The storekeeper and section executive member accompany the driver with 2 copies of the (original + a copy) waybill for each lot of produce evacuated by that vehicle from the Section to the Society store. Once the produce arrives at the Society store, the produce is re-weighed and an acceptance waybill issued. The original acceptance waybill copy is transferred to the main office by the regional manager and a copy, together with the initial evacuation waybill copy is returned to the Section via the Section executive and storekeeper. The storekeeper is responsible for loading produce at the section while off-loading at the society store is the responsibility of the regional manager. When the produce is in the section store it can be evacuated at any convenient time to a society store.

Payment Procedure

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. Weight deductions are made according to the moisture content of the cocoa; also from each full bag a further deduction, equivalent to 2kg cocoa, is made as a contribution to section finances (the section tare). All weights, deductions and payments are verified at the regional office and reconfirmed on receipt at the society store.

Produce evacuation is now done by MACEFCOOP unlike before when we had to carry produce to the store ourselves
a member of Mamfé Akwaya section

Locations

MACEFCOOP has stores for the collection, weighing and storage at the following locations:

Nchang (in the Mamfé / Akwaya Section, Mamfé Sub-Division)

Bachuo Ntai (in the Ntai Section, Mamfé Sub-Division)

Tinto, in Tinto Section, Upper Bayang Sub-Division

Defang, in the Mbang Section, Upper Bayang Sub-Division

Eyang, in Eyang Section, Upper Bayang Sub-Division

Akak, in Obang Section, Upper Bayang Sub-Division


The Section Store at Nchang

Not all stores are equipped with a moisture meter, but initially a ‘crunch test’ is an effective method of monitoring humidity. The Arbitration Committee for each Section decides on the acceptable level of dryness. Beans with a very high moisture content will be rejected but the committee is able to use its judgement in marginal decisions because the farmer will take his beans to other buyers if unreasonable conditions are applied. A weight penalty is applied if the humidity is marginally greater than the accepted level but, for cocoa of the same quality and moisture content, the same price is paid in all sections.