Caobisco, the Association of the Chocolate, Biscuits & Confectionery Industries of Europe, will receive the petition of the Make Chocolate Fair! campaign on the 2nd December 2015 in Brussels.
CAOBISCO members share the objectives of stepping up efforts in the global cocoa supply chain to improve the livelihood of cocoa farmers and their families. The chocolate industry is committed to accelerating and scaling up its efforts to reach more farming communities. The chocolate industry has adopted a holistic and comprehensive approach to strengthen the livelihoods of cocoa famers through notably the improvement of farmer incomes, better training for farmers and education for their children, as well as raising awareness at community level of the necessity and the ways to combat the worst forms of child labour.
Ensuring better incomes for cocoa farmers and their communities is essential to the sustainability of the whole cocoa supply chain. Our approach is to provide direct assistance to the farmers through training in Good Agricultural Practices, crop diversification, eradication of cocoa diseases, increased yields and improved quality of cocoa. All this is with the goal of increasing productivity, farmer incomes and advancing community development. This is notably applied in CocoaAction, a strategy launched in 2014 by the World Cocoa Foundation with the view to reach a high-level industry/government collaboration and dialogue.
The chocolate industry has a shared responsibility to reduce the incidence of child labour in the cocoa supply chain with national governments, NGOs, civil society, as well as cocoa communities and families themselves. The CocoaAction programme contains a specific focus on child labour monitoring, women’s empowerment and education in the supply chain. The industry also supports and invests in many community development, education and child protection activities in their company programmes, national platforms or through partners like the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI).
To achieve an independent worldwide tool to demonstrate that cocoa farms are responsibly managed and generate improving income for cocoa farmers, the chocolate industry is supporting the development of the ISO/CEN standard for sustainable and traceable cocoa. The standard will outline criteria to achieve sustainable farming based on good agricultural and business practice, improved social conditions and sound environmental practice. The standard is expected to be available from 2017.
The chocolate industry is encouraged to see that actions to date have had a positive impact on cocoa growing communities. The industry will continue to seek more alignment with government policies and actions of cocoa producing country governments as well as here in the European Union.
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