Monthly Archives: October 2016

500+ Convene in Côte d’Ivoire for Focus on Sustainability at World Cocoa Foundation Partnership Meeting

$12 Million in New Funding Announced for Farmer Support Programs; Call to Action on Regional Threat Posed by Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, Oct. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Last week, the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), in collaboration with Le Conseil du Café-Cacao, convened its annual Partnership Meeting in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s leading producer of cocoa. More than 500 representatives from the global chocolate and cocoa sector, including farmers, as well as international donor groups and civil society organizations and other key cocoa-producing countries such as Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Ghana and Nigeria, gathered to address critical sustainability issues confronting the cocoa sector. Among the featured speakers were Ivorian Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, First Lady Dominique Ouattara, and newly appointed WCF President Richard Scobey.

In remarks that opened the meeting, Prime Minister Duncan highlighted four key challenges to sustainability in the sector, namely improving cocoa productivity, mitigating the effects of climate change and fighting deforestation, improving farmers’ incomes and boosting value-added processing of cocoa before it leaves Ivorian shores.

According to Scobey, “It was very exciting to see the growing alignment and commitment among all of the actors in the cocoa supply chain on the issues, namely sustainable livelihoods, deforestation and empowerment of women and protection of children in cocoa-growing communities. On some issues, such as protection of children and women’s empowerment, we have a good understanding of what’s needed, whereas in other areas, such as deforestation and sustainable livelihoods, we need to do more work to understand better the context and then try different solutions.”

Ivorian First Lady Dominique Ouattara addressed head-on the issue of protecting children from illegal forms of work. She applauded industry efforts to build and provide materials to dozens of schools in cocoa-growing communities. She also announced plans by the Ivorian government to build more than 4,500 classrooms and 37 secondary schools in cocoa-growing areas, in addition to cross-border cooperation on the child labor issue with neighboring countries in West Africa.

In contrast to past years’ meetings, the discussions in Abidjan revealed a growing level of trust and commitment to work together among the different supply chain stakeholders. CocoaAction, industry’s voluntary sustainability strategy, was cited as a strong framework for accelerating cooperation between the chocolate and cocoa industry and governments, donors and others. Early results of CocoaAction, launched two years ago, were provided by more than a dozen speakers from farmer groups, certifying bodies, donors, civil society, governments and industry. In conjunction with the discussions, WCF released its first-ever CocoaAction annual report, which covers the strategy’s progress through 2015. A second report will be released in 2017.

During the Partnership Meeting, WCF and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Feed the Future program announced African Cocoa Initiative II, a five-year, $12 million effort to increase production of quality cocoa planting materials and provide services to cocoa farmers in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria. WCF also convened regional cocoa research scientists and government cocoa regulatory agencies to address the growing impact of Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus (CSSV), a disease fatal to cocoa trees that was first detected in Ghana in the 1930s and now threatens the crop across the West African region. Participants broadly agreed that a regional action plan is urgently needed to control the spread of CSSV.

Scobey said of the week’s discussions, “There was a strong endorsement of a shared vision for an inclusive cocoa future, where the focus is on sustainable livelihoods for farmers, a better-protected planet, and prosperous businesses, from the farm level through to the chocolate maker, that create jobs and value.” The meeting underscored the importance of innovation, and showcased a number of new products, services and technologies that support transformation of the cocoa supply chain. WCF also announced specific commitments to deepen partnership with civil society organizations, international financial organizations and cocoa producing countries’ governments.

To learn more about World Cocoa Foundation, please visit www.worldcocoafoundation.org.

About World Cocoa Foundation
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership organization that promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector. WCF provides cocoa farmers with the support they need to grow more quality cocoa and socially and economically strengthen their communities. WCF’s members include cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80 percent of the global cocoa market. WCF’s programs benefit farmers and their communities in cocoa-growing regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. For more information, visit www.worldcocoafoundation.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Department of Labour session on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)

Worker, employer and government representatives will meet in about two weeks to discuss occupational health and saferty (OHS) in the workplaces in South Africa.

The Department of Labour will host the OHS Conference to create awareness and address Occupational Health and Safety issues pertaining to Small Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) environment in South Africa. The initiative of the department to hold the conference can contribute to the overall objectives of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that of ensuring quality jobs in environments where occupational health and safety is adhered to.

The Conference will be held from November 15-17 at The Lakes Hotel & Conference Centre in Benoni, Gauteng.

Held under the theme: Sustaining OHS within SMME environment through innovative solutions � the conference is expected to attract 500 delegates.

Department of Labour’s Deputy Director-General: Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES), Aggy Moiloa will deliver a keynote address. She is expected to share the stage with departmental experts in the fields of OHS, advocacy, construction, chemical and major hazards installations (MHI) among others.

The seminar is also expected to be attended by representatives from industry bodies, business organisations/chambers and labour federations.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (No. 85 of 1993) provides for the health and safety of persons at work and for the health and safety of persons in connection with the use of plant and machinery; the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work; to establish an advisory council for occupational health and safety; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act applies to all employers and workers, but not to �

mines, mining areas or any mining works (as defined in the Minerals Act);

load line ships, fishing boats, sealing boats, whaling boats (as defined in the Merchant Shipping Act) and floating cranes; whether in or out of the water; and

people in or on these areas or vessels.

The Act provides that every employer shall conduct his undertaking in such a manner as to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that persons other than those in his employment who may be directly affected by his activities are not thereby exposed to hazards to their health or safety. It also prescribes that every self-employed person shall conduct his undertaking in such a manner as to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons who may be directly affected by his activities are not thereby exposed to hazards to their health or safety.

The country’s Occupational Health and Safety Act is currently being amended to be in line with modern dynamics.

The topics that will be addressed at the conference pertain to Health and Hygiene issues, Civil and Construction issues and Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

There will also be break-away sessions to deal with: trends in OHS focusing on SMMEs; global health and safety in the construction industry; progress regarding goods hoists; ergonomics regulations; guidelines on new construction regulations; developments on the major hazards installations regulations; the role of approved inspections authorities in the electrical installation industries; benchmarking of major hazard installation to other countries; an African perspective on ergonomics; introduction of SMMEs to the classification and labeling standards; radio frequency in the explosive environment and risk assessment in major hazard installation among others.

Source: The South African Department of Labour

Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson to handover Newcastle Buyback and Play Parks Project

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson, will officially hand over a Waste Buyback Centre and Recreational Play Parks to the Newcastle Community at the Osizweni Community Hall, Newcastle KwaZulu-Natal, on Wednesday 02 November 2016.

The Department of Environmental Affairs, through its Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme has funded the two projects in the Newcastle Local Municipality to the tunes of R19 million. The implementation of these projects created 240 job opportunities to the members of the local communities. The Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme is part of the Department’s Extended Public Works Programme.

Despite a total estimated value of R25 billion to the South African economy, the current rate of waste recycling has not been maximized. The buyback facility will assist the Municipality to address the challenge of waste management and promote waste recycling in the area. The facility will help stimulate diversion of recyclable waste from landfill sites, thereby creating economic opportunities for waste collectors. The four community recreational parks have been built to benefit disadvantaged area, with a focus on sustainable development in the greening and open space management areas.

The implementation of these projects provided beneficiaries with training opportunities in various fields including occupational health and safety, as well as personal financial management. These skills will assist beneficiaries to become employable elsewhere in the future.

Source: Department of Environmental Affairs

Minister Davies, Premier Masualle and MEC Somyo to Launch First Phase of Komani Industrial Park in Queenstown, Eastern Cape

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, the Eastern Cape Premier, Mr Phumulo Masualle and Eastern Cape MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), Mr Sakhumzi Somyo will launch the first phase of the Komani Industrial Park revitalisation in Queenstown, Eastern Cape on Monday, 7 November 2016.

The R22.5 million project is part of the Revitalisation of Industrial Parks Programme of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). Komani is one of the 10 industrial parks that the department has prioritised for revitalisation as part of the programme.

The launch marks the completion of the 1st phase of the project which covers security upgrading of the park. the dti has been working with the Chris Hani Development Agency on the revitalisation of the Komani Industrial Park and an amount of R22.5m has been invested by the dti so far, says Davies.

Davies adds that the dti has recognised that these parks have the capacity to aid as catalysts for broader economic and industrial development in their host regions, mainly townships and rural areas. According to Davies, the parks will promote industrialisation, manufacturing and job creation.

Minister Davies has already launched the completion of the first phase of the revitalisation of industrial parks in Limpopo, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.

MEC Somyo says these provincial industrial parks will be key centres for employment creation and industrial development for the Eastern Cape.

They will also serve as a launch pad for the Black Industrialists Programme that seeks to promote the participation of black businesses in the manufacturing sector, he adds.

Source: The Department of Trade and Industry