What is done and what is changed?
Looking at what is changed over the years, the cocoa farmers rather see their children get educated then see them working at the cocoa farm. As any other parent, they want their child to succeed in life. It also depends on these two factors if the children of cocoa farmers get educated.
If the cocoa farmer owns his own cocoa farm and makes profit of it, it is most likely that the children of this person will go to school.
However, if the cocoa farmer is just an employee of the owner of the cocoa farm it is more complex. These are workers and do not earn all the profit of selling cocoa, it is more likely that their children will end up being a farmer themselves, because they are not able to pay for education. The average age of a cocoa farmer is 58 years old, more information can be read in the interview minutes with Cocobod.
With the weather models that TAHMO provides, Farmerline is able to spread it with their systems. Talking to Frank during our meetings in the Netherlands, the weather modules were scheduled to be finished in November 2015. What changed was that the weather modules were not finished by that time, and it was postponed till the beginning of February 2016. Due to the fact that this project ends before February 2016, the minor group was not able to work with the weather modules provided by TAHMO. This meant the minor group had to change their plans. Also the impact that could have been caused by the TAHMO weather data was not able to be
Working together with Farmerline for the last three months there are several things investigated for them by the minor group. Starting with the LBCs, the minor group went to several LBCs to explain their business model. The LBCs were interested in the services of Farmerline and want to be clients of Farmerline to use their services. Doing this the minor group created a new potential customer segment for Farmerline.
Also by doing market research there is found several new markets and customers. As mentioned above, the LBCs are interested but, also cocoa farmers and cocoa certifiers are interested in the services of Farmerline. This is found out by meeting cocoa farmers and cocoa certifiers. The impact that is created for Farmerline is the following: there is created a new perspective in doing business with the new potential customer segment and thus new business models they could execute. The in depth impact that is created by LBCs, cocoa farmers and cocoa certifiers can be read in their own section below.
LBCs were the only revenue stream for the preliminary business model. Yet, after talking to several LBCs, they would not pay for the cocoa farmers even though it would guarantee them cocoa bags from cocoa farmers. The minor group tried to show the LBCs the benefit of showing interest in the farmer and invest in the relation they have with the farmers. This is effectively shown to an LBC named Adwumapa. With them the minor group visited the cocoa farmers and the LBC saw that it is relevant to gather information from the farmer, think of how much the yield is per season, the acres the farmer has and thus the productivity of the farmer. The LBC now knows about the services of Farmerline, because the minor group gave them a presentation what Farmerline can offer them. The LBC understands now that it is crucial to show interest in the farmer and show the farmers that they really are part of the LBC and the LBC should invest in their farmers and gather information about them.
In the interview minutes it can be read what control union does. In short Control Union is a company, which provides independent inspection services on a global level. In Ghana they work with farmers and LBC, where they independently order cocoa, provide legal obligations and UTZ- or organic certification. They check cocoa farmers and LBCs if they are able to become a certificate farmer or LBC. This is an organisation that did not know anything about TAHMO and Farmerline. The minor group created awareness of the organisation and Farmerline as a company. The control union was interested in the MERGdata because for them it is necessary to know the area of the farms they are certifying. Control union sees the value of MERGdata and is thinking of becoming a new potential customer of Farmerline.
After a meeting with the chief deputy executive officer of Cocobod, there is talked about what Cocobod does for the cocoa industry and the farmers. After hearing their side of the story and their struggles the minor group told the officer about the TAHMO organisation and that they could help them, monitor the weather in Ghana. The impact of this meeting was that the officer has a feeling about what TAHMO does and, how this can be implemented in their business and solve their struggles. This means Cocobod is in this current phase not directly a new potential customer but they are really interested in what TAHMO can offer them and they know about the organisation.
There is talked to farmers, and the impact that is left behind is the following. First of all, the cocoa farmers expected to see money when the minor group visited them. They thought that the students – the white people – came to them to give them free money. It was clear that the farmers think on the short term instead of the long term. Second of all, the students talked to the farmers and asked them what they think they will reach in one year, a future perspective question. The farmers were not able to answer this question and in this way there is created an impact on the farmers that they need to think further than just tomorrow. Third of all, asking the farmers about the weather and creating the need to know when it is going to rain and when the sun is shining is an impact. The farmers do not really care about the weather, they know when the raining season starts and the dry season. What they do not know is that due to climate change it is possible it will rain in dry seasons and dry in rain seasons. That Farmerline can send them messages so they know exactly when it is going to rain or not and other services.
The radio part that was the ultimate tool to reach out to the public was not executed at all. The first meeting the minor group had with an LBC already showed that LBCs did not like the idea of reaching out with the radio. Their reason was that the farmers do not really care about the radio and what is broadcasted. Also to get the radio involved the LBCs did need to get involved, this was not the case. The impact of the radio is therefore not assessed.
Looking at the complete cocoa industry and the impact that is created in this industry by the minor group there is the following. The minor group was able in the three months’ time to present their idea to Farmerline and work with Farmerline together to develop new ideas and new approaches to gain more customers in a sustainable way. Next to this, the minor group created brand awareness by several new potential customers for Farmerline and indirectly for TAHMO. Not to forget that before all this there was research done in different customer segments, to understand the whole cocoa industry.