CAOBISCO, the Association of the Chocolate Industries of Europe, welcomes today’s launch of the Cocoa Barometer 2020. It outlines the necessary measures all stakeholders, from farmers to consumers, should take to make the cocoa supply chain sustainable.
The European Union has sought a window of opportunity in creating recently a EU multi -stakeholder platform on sustainable cocoa, that will hopefully address the different areas the Barometer will be monitoring during this 2 year period: due diligence systems, partnership agreements between producer and consumer countries and raising living income for farmers.
CAOBISCO members are committed to ensuring that their products are manufactured responsibly and to the highest standards, minimising environmental impact and respecting the human rights of those in their value chains. It is a shared responsibility for all supply chain actors, to collectively achieve a sustainable cocoa supply chain and address systemic environmental and human rights issues.
But a sound EU legislative framework for mandatory Due Diligence needs to be accompanied by partnership agreements between the EU and cocoa producing countries ensuring capacity building at producing country level, accountability, good governance practices, professionalization of farmers and investments in infrastructure and technology.
The building block of sustainability is a living income for farmers. The chocolate industry has been working closely with governments, farmers, and other partners to transform farms into modern businesses that enable farmers to earn sufficient income to achieve a decent standard of living.
The EU chocolate industry supports the new Living Income Differential (LID) that Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana introduced in July 2019 as part of a strategy to raise farmer income. Companies have independently and voluntarily incorporated the LID into their individual procurement plans for the 2020/21 crop season.
However, the LID and the company sustainability programs must be seen as complementary The long-term sustainability of the sector depends on farmers receiving fair remuneration for their crop and vice versa: a long-term increase in farmer remuneration must come from responsible cocoa production, with due attention to child labour, deforestation, and stable long-term supply-side management.