Abidjan — Ivory Coast is auditing cocoa co-operatives amid concerns that poor management could threaten local groups’ survival. The world’s top cocoa producer has almost completed audits of 230 co-operatives in the southwest of the country and plans to review another 48 that export and are part of a group known as Ucoopexci, the industry regulator Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao said. "It’s clear that co-operatives are still very [unstructured]," the CCC said in a document dated January and posted on its website on Wednesday. "They are also confronted with bad governance affecting their reliability and viability." The country’s cocoa industry is recovering from a wave of defaults by local exporters last season, when many had bet on higher prices but then couldn’t fulfil their contracts when cocoa started tumbling. A KPMG audit of the sales system showed that 32 shippers defaulted on 222,302 tonnes of cocoa, with smaller exporters including co-operatives accounting for about two-thirds of t...

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