Cocoa deforestation is a known problem in the cocoa industry. The two world’s biggest cocoa producers Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, have experienced some of the fastest rates of deforestation anywhere in the world. Deforestation is a growing concern in many other cocoa-growing regions across Africa, South America, and South-East Asia.
The Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI) announced that four million trees are going to be planted in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. In its latest report, the CFI stated that 35 signatory companies mapped more than one million farms to improve deforestation. Other signatories joined the initiative, such as the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, IDH– The Sustainable Trade Initiative, and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF).
The goal of 2020 is to end deforestation and restore forest areas, so the WCF wants to accelerate private sector collaboration across the cocoa landscape in partnership with the governments. In 2018-2019 the CFI, the signatory companies, and the governments started implementing activities to end cocoa deforestation.
The governments focused on creating policies and legal and institutional frameworks that can support CFI to implement their programs. The governments hope that they will manage to end cocoa deforestation with the support of the private sector and also civil organizations.
There is a lot of work, but the industry is doing something to eliminate deforestation. If the cocoa industry succeeds in this goal, it will create a more positive future for cocoa-growing communities.