The West African government has confirmed that the EU will provide €450 million ($450.02m) to support Côte d’Ivoire’s Cocoa sector. The support money is expected to help address sustainability issues in the country’s Cocoa sector, particularly deforestation and child labour.

The Team Europe initiative was launched last month after a meeting between the European Union and financial investment partners in Abidjan. Participating EU member states for sustainable Cocoa include Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Côte d’Ivoire’s official government website confirmed in a statement that the country’s prime minister, Partick Achi, welcomed the EU’s support. He also pointed out that it is in line with the industry’s three main priorities: combating child labour on farms, improving farmers’ incomes and protecting forestry.

The Prime Minister went on to say that the sector is now in a position to mobilise resources to implement a structured programme of action.

During the meeting in Abidjan, Koen Doens, the European Director General for International Partnerships, informed the Ivorian government that the financial support would also be underpinned by legislation.

The EU also presented projects supporting the government’s National Sustainable Cocoa Strategy, worth €37 million ($37.01m). This is the first step in a broader plan to support sustainability programmes in the country, it said.

This comes at a time when there are some concerns about delays in implementing new EU legislation that would require Cocoa companies wanting to export to Europe to have a high level of traceability. Some fear that the new measures could increase companies’ operating costs at a time when inflation is rising and much of the industry and the wider economy is facing uncertainty.

Photo by Hanay, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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