A New Cocoa Partnership "Putting an End to Child Labour and Deforestation"
As part of a new sustainable alliance with the EU, the governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana have agreed to develop sector-wide cocoa traceability systems at the national level.
As part of the Alliance on Sustainable Cocoa, the European Commission (EC) stated that procedures will be implemented to ensure that every cocoa can be traced to the plot level and that traceability data will be made publically available to all stakeholders.
According to the European Commission, the partnership will improve the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of cocoa production and trading.
“Following two years of discussions, all sides have committed to a set of concrete time-bound actions to improve the sustainability of the cocoa supply chain in West Africa,” it said.
“These actions aim to halt deforestation and child labour and improve the living income for farmers. These commitments were endorsed by all and will be closely monitored.”
The EU is the world's top cocoa importer and claims it must ensure that the chocolate and cocoa it consumes are produced sustainably.
Alex Assanvo, executive secretary of the Côte d'Ivoire Ghana Cocoa Initiative, said:
“With joint agreement on the critical need to rebalance value chains, the Alliance for Sustainable Cocoa offers us a timely opportunity to act together to strengthen the economic dimension of sustainable cocoa value chains and deliver to farmers a price fully aligned with a living income.”
The alliance intends to assist cocoa-producing nations and the cocoa industry in preparing for the implementation of upcoming EU sustainability rules aimed at preventing deforestation.
In addition, members have agreed to build traceability systems that enable them to link instances of child labour to specific cocoa shipments and plantations.
“National cocoa traceability systems have improved in coverage, accuracy, reliability, and transparency with EU support,” said a report accompanying the creation of the alliance.
Together with Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana are the largest suppliers of cocoa to the EU market, contributing €4.6bn in 2021.
The European Union and the European Investment Bank proposed around €200 million for Côte d'Ivoire and €12 million for Ghana.
Source: Supply Management