BY NDUMBE BELL JOSEPH GASTON IN DOUALA
It is now an established fact that locally processed finished products from cocoa and coffee are sprouting into the nation’s supermarkets and other coffee-shopsbecause of the increased demand acknowledged by local consumers.
This is one of the objectives and findings of the Cocoa and Coffee Interprofessional Council dubbed C.I.C.C. in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce who, in their statement said they have relaunched the promotion and tasting days recently (called JMPs) after two years of suspension due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Since 2016 when launched, the cocoa and coffee tasting days (JMPs) which was designed to take place every last Wednesday of the month has, according to officials, catalysed the rising increases indomestic consumption of these two products organised by the council using, what they call, the two high masses of cocoa and coffee otherwise known as festicoffee and festicocoa.
According to reports at the convening or resumption sessions, a C.I.C.C. official named as Yanka Nana Hermann who heads the development department, said the promotion and tasting days is meant for the exchange of knowledge and experience ; “the JMPs constitutes a platform for sharing information and knowledge on the cocoa and coffee sectors. It showcases and exhibits the knowhow of local processors in terms of the presentation of cocoa and chocolate products, the various ways of preparing coffee-based beverages and other derivatives”. It also provides a business hub for business opportunities and for meeting the public.
Indicators show a growing trend.It has been noticed that after a coffee stagnation period of over ten years,there is some growth even though timid after 2012 since the festi coffee promotional coffee days and other activities to promote it.
At their promotional campaigns in Mekong Douala launched by the National Cocoa and Coffee Office (ONCC) driven by the G.M. Mr Ndoping, in 2021-2022, it was reported that 29 masters listed in the production basin of Cameroon processed 1014 tonnes of coffee, an increase of up to 20% as compared to the preceding season. Also noted was the recovery participation of 10 coffee masters and other artisans as part of a competition and exhibition exercise in Yaounde also for cocoa and its derivatives, where coffee-shops were seen offering free consumption of the products including roasted coffee.
From these and other activities, the resultant trend is the on-going multiplicity of cocoa products in supermarkets and the spread of coffee-shops in Douala and Yaounde especially. The move is now attracting foreign coffee shop holders such as the Swiss subsidiary of Nestlé Nespresso which has recently chosen to invest in Cameroon stating reasons that the nation has embraced the growing consumption culture of high quality coffee. This has been an encouragement to the C.I.C.C. which has declared their determination to extend that this year the promotion of tasting days (JMPs) is to go to other regions of the country.