Published November 30, 2023 | Version v1
Publication Open

Consumer perception of the circular economy and the cocoa value chain in Côte d'Ivoire

  • 1. Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, United Kingdom,
  • 2. Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, United Kingdom,
  • 3. Global Banking School, London, United Kingdom,


We determine how consumers perceive the cocoa value chain (CVC) in Côte d'Ivoire. Based on our findings, recommendations are made to reduce inequality through the theoretical lens of the circular economy (CE). This paper is informed by a literature review followed by a survey. Circular business models operate at each of the seven levels of the chocolate industry: the farmer level by improving soil health through agroforestry, the transporter level by accounting for transport costs to make the model profitable, the grinder level by utilizing polyphenols drawn from cocoa bean shells and cocoa pod husks, the manufacturer level by using previously wasted fruit pulp to produce a beverage, the trader level by governing the value chain according to the CE framework, the retailer level by improving traceability systems with Internet-of-Things -based logistics systems, and finally at the consumer level by slowly but surely adapting towards circular purchasing behaviour. The CE is defined as a socio-economic business eco-system that efficiently uses materials and finance through the optimisation of waste and disposal, which enables sustainable development using business models and innovation. In this paper we consider cocoa exported from Côte d'Ivoire only and exclude other producing countries. Furthermore, there is a scarcity of government data on the living income of cocoa farmers in Côte d'Ivoire, which could impede the representativeness of the secondary data used. Consequently, this could limit the paper's accuracy in determining the potential effect of implementing circularity on living income levels. This paper can be a useful tool for policymakers and analysts since it identifies problems in the CVC. The circular economy is a potential way of achieving living income for cocoa farmers in Côte d'Ivoire. We respond to a call in the literature for empirical analysis of consumer views on the CE. Additionally, we contextualise the CE along the CVC in Côte d'Ivoire.

Keywords: Circular Economy; Consumer Perception; Cocoa; Value Chain; Côte d'Ivoire.


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