initiative

EU COMMISSION INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE COCOA SUSTAINABILITY

On 22 September, the European Commission launched its ‘Sustainability Cocoa Initiative.’

The initiative is a new multi-stakeholder dialogue, that will bring Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana representatives together with representatives of the European Parliament, EU member states, cocoa growers and civil society.

Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are the two main cocoa producing countries accounting for circa 70% of global cocoa production.

The initiative aims to deliver concrete recommendations to advance sustainability across the cocoa supply chain through collective action and partnerships.

The new initiative for sustainable cocoa is part of a broader set of the European Commission’s measures to address sustainability issues horizontally and within the sector. They include a policy dialogue with Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to make sure that increase of prices is linked to actions halting deforestation and eliminating child labour in cocoa supply chains.

Today’s launch of the multi-stakeholder dialogue for sustainable cocoa will help to guide the sector’s recovery from Covid-19, while also finding solutions to existing sustainability challenges. We plan to develop concrete recommendations on sustainable cocoa as trade is not only about growth and profits, but also the social and environmental impact of our policies.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President and acting Trade Commissioner

A series of thematic groups set under the multi-stakeholder dialogue will meet between October 2020 and July 2021 to:

  • discuss ways to encourage responsible practices of EU businesses involved in cocoa supply chains;
  • feed into other relevant ongoing Commission initiatives, including on due diligence and deforestation;
  • feed into the policy discussions between the EU and the involved cocoa producing countries: Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana;
  • guide the European Commission in the design and deployment of support projects on sustainable cocoa production

A plenary session in autumn 2021 will take stock of progress and a public report will review progress on the recommendations and suggestions for further steps to be taken.

The dialogue corresponds to the EU’s political priorities under the Green Deal and the Commission’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to child labour. It also builds on Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana’s joint initiative of June 2019 on a minimum price for cocoa on the world market and the Living Income Differential that they put in place with representatives of the cocoa and chocolate industry to ensure decent revenue for local farmers.

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