Continaf B.V.(Continentale en Afrikaanse Handelsvereniging) is one of the world’s best known organizations active in cocoa origination, procurement and trading. Founded in the year 1930, Continaf has gained experience in soft commodities for many years. Our staff is a strong mix of professionals with varied expertise and different cultural and professional backgrounds. Continaf is part of Amtrada Holding B.V., a Dutch group of companies in origination, procurement and trading of cocoa, coffee and tree nuts.
Our headquarters are located in the historical centre of Amsterdam, from which we trade and control the supply of all the cocoa from our sourcing companies in Africa and Asia. This unique structure allows the operating companies in origin to fully focus on sourcing, processing and shipping the cocoa exclusively to Continaf.
Worldwide, over 400 people are employed by Continaf and its sourcing companies. We purchase cocoa in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Indonesia as well as in some smaller cocoa growing countries. Our clients are cocoa grinding industries and chocolate manufacturing industries, located all over the world.
Continaf distinguishes itself through control of the quality of the procured cocoa in the origins. Over the years Continaf has optimized its processes, keeping the chain between farmers and the cocoa industry as short as possible. We support the industries in the cocoa supply chain in managing all risks involved.
Continaf recognizes that changes in both the world market and demands of our suppliers and customers require changes in the way we do business. The competitive landscape of cocoa business faces vertical integration by some main grinders on the one hand and outsourcing of procurement by some manufacturers on the other. Furthermore, the cocoa market becomes more complex due to changing supplies and demands, difficulties in supply chain reliability and increasing market price volatility.
It makes those aspects of cocoa business that Continaf will remain its important role for different parties in the supply chain. Local suppliers such as cooperatives increasingly search for a better and independent access to the world market. On the customer side, Continaf functions as their reliable supplier of cocoa from the origins for chocolate manufacturers and assists grinders to fulfill their volume requirements. For all these parties, Continaf can offer custom-made solutions for its customers to cover increasing market risks.
Continaf strives to be an independent organization in cocoa origination and trading. Its our belief we can achieve this by adding sustainable value to the chain of cocoa. Our success is based on four key factors:
Active in multiple origins and having customers in different regions of the world;
Delivering products with the specifications of our customer, both in quality as in destination;
Having strong relationships with both our suppliers and customers to know and share market information;
Offering a wide range of risk management solutions.
Sustainability & Development
We observe that in the origins the quality of the cocoa beans is decreasing and many of the trees are yielding lower crops, a cause of much concern for farmers and for the other stakeholders in the industry. A clear answer to this has been the introduction of sustainable cocoa in order to safeguard business interests by addressing the risk of quality loss and supply shortfalls, and to allow the small farmer to cultivate cocoa trees in such a way that it can support him year after year, balancing his economic needs with preservation of the environment.
Cocoa sustainability is based on three pillars: economic viability for farmers, environmental conservation and social responsibility including labor practices and trading. Certification is often used as a tool to assure that these principles are adhered to. Well known certification bodies in Cocoa are UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade Labelling organizations International (FLO). Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the meaning of certification and their demand for more sustainable products has become more explicit over the years and is steadily growing. Our largest customers have noticed this change in market trend and have committed themselves to introducing sustainable cocoa into their products.
As a procurement and trading organization Continaf shares the concerns of the industry and sees how the sustainability principles can help solve some of the challenges faced and add value in the supply chain. We believe that sustainable cocoa production will only have impact if the players along the supply chain work closely together, from farmer to customer. In this line we are actively seeking strategic alliances with certifying agencies, NGOs, suppliers and customers to set up certification programs in our origins in view of a sustainable high quality cocoa supply and improved livelihoods of the cocoa farmers.