COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Hundreds of members of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and leaders from the global cocoa sector convened in Copenhagen, Denmark to take further crucial steps toward implementing a comprehensive strategy, called CocoaAction, to sustain the cocoa industry and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. WCF leadership also announced the collective effort to support the fight against Ebola in West Africa has resulted thus far in more than $700,000 that will be donated to two non-governmental organizations, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Caritas.
CocoaAction was announced in May and is focused on helping cocoa farmers improve their productivity, and support community development initiatives in the countries of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire – the largest cocoa producing countries in the world.
CocoaAction’s goal is to work with no fewer than 300,000 cocoa farmers and their communities by 2020. Currently 11 companies have committed to CocoaAction including ADM; Barry Callebaut; Blommer Chocolate Company; Cargill; ECOM Agrotrade Limited; Ferrero; The Hershey Company; Mars, Incorporated; Mondelēz International; Nestlé; and Olam.
Today the industry announced that it had aligned on a standard set of key performance indicators that each company will use to measure and report their progress and that WCF would consolidate to report on externally.
“Our industry is at a critical moment, and CocoaAction is our strategy to ensure that collective cocoa sustainability efforts go deeper and wider,” said Bill Guyton, president, World Cocoa Foundation. “With CocoaAction, industry leaders are embarking on an unprecedented effort to improve farmers’ lives and ensure they benefit more from the cocoa they grow. This meeting has been critical in engaging all stakeholders in helping to co-create the future of standards, measurement and certification.” I am confident that these productive discussions will continue long after we leave Copenhagen, and that we as a sector will determine the necessary tools and assistance to strive towards true sustainability.”
“I am delighted by the level of alignment, collaboration and commitment we’ve seen so far from the cocoa industry and all the critical stakeholders. We have a real opportunity to transform this industry to the good of millions of farmers and their families”, said Barry Parkin, chairman, World Cocoa Foundation and chief sustainability officer, Mars, Incorporated. “Our strategy is called CocoaAction and we now
need to move quickly to action and implementation in cocoa-growing communities. We have announced today a critical milestone in the agreement to a comprehensive results framework that will ensure we are held to account and that we hold each other to account on our progress against our commitments.”
The outcomes of CocoaAction are centered on productivity and community development. In Copenhagen, the industry agreed to the following outcome indicators:
- Number of farmers, disaggregated by gender, who are applying a minimum number of good agricultural practices
- Number of farmers, disaggregated by gender, who are adopting recommended planning materials to rehabilitate a minimum percentage of their old or non-productive cocoa trees.
- Number of farmers, disaggregated by gender, who are adopting recommended fertilizer and soil fertility practices on their farms.
- Number of children participating in child labor as defined by the International Labour Organization Convention 182.
- Number of women in leadership positions (e.g. trainers, lead farmers, extension workers) in farmer organizations.
- Percentage of school-age children regularly attending school.
More than 200 attendees representing the chocolate and cocoa industry, global retailers, cocoa producing country governments, nonprofit organizations, academia, and research institutes, from23 countries, participated in more than a dozen plenaries and small group discussions during the two-day session. The Partnership Meeting also featured a Cocoa Sustainability Trade Fair, which featured information and displays about sustainability efforts being undertaken in the cocoa sector around the world. The Trade Fair was an integral part of efforts by the sector to share information and practices to assist in deepening knowledge and highlighting successful approaches.