The EU, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana Cocoa sector recently concluded the ‘Cocoa Talks’, wherein they engaged in a dialogue around the sustainability of the cocoa sector. Following the recent meeting, all parties agreed on their endorsement of a new ‘Alliance on Sustainable Cocoa’ roadmap that is set to improve upon various elements of sustainability in the cocoa trade.

The new initiative will see those involved commit to a series of actions under a concrete timeframe, with the goal of developing more favourable sustainable conditions in the West African Cocoa supply chain. In particular, the key areas of focus are to end deforestation and the use of child labour on Cocoa farms, and increase farmers’ income.

The Sustainable Cocoa Initiative is a remarkable development. Together with our African partners, we have built a movement for positive change that can benefit everyone: farmers, industry, traders and consumers alike. Today we are taking the next step forward: endorsing a strong Sustainable Cocoa Alliance with a concrete action plan.

As the world’s largest importer of cocoa, the EU has a clear responsibility to ensure that the chocolate and Cocoa we eat is sustainably produced. This Alliance represents a fine example of the EU’s approach to making trade more sustainable: working with our partners to make a real difference.

Valdis Dombrovskis, EU Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade

The Alliance appears to seek better communication and collaboration between all parties involved in the production of Cocoa. The EU’s Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “Encouraging regular dialogue among local producers and policymakers in Africa and in Europe creates added value for the whole Cocoa sector.

“Through the new ‘Alliance for Sustainable Cocoa’, supported under the Global Gateway, we can implement innovative solutions to achieve both sustainable and ethical Cocoa production practices.”

Moreover, working together under the new Alliance will assist the Cocoa sector and its producing countries to prepare for the upcoming enactment of EU legislation surrounding corporate sustainability due diligence.

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.

Alex Assanvo, Executive Secretary, Cote d’Ivoire Ghana Cocoa Initiative

In an official statement, the EU said The Cocoa Talks – and the ensuing Alliance of stakeholders and roadmap – represent an example of innovative ways of working together to implement sustainable trade and development policies and turn some of the objectives of the Green Deal into reality.

More information regarding the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative Roadmap here.

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