DECLARATION BY CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS FROM COTE D’IVOIRE AND GHANA IN THE CONTEXT OF THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE COCOA SECTOR

COCOA CSOs - GHCI 2 (1)

In recent years, an international dialogue on the sustainability of the cocoa sector has been initiated between all actors involved in both producing and consuming countries.

Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, which account for  over 60% of the world’s cocoa production, have decided to work together to define a common and sustainable cocoa strategy towards increasing the prices received by cocoa producers in their respective countries.

To materialise this political will, the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGHCI) was set up in 2020.

In view of this strategic partnership established at the sub-regional level by the two States, it appeared relevant for the civil society organisations of the two countries, working on cocoa, to establish a permanent collaboration framework. The objective is to work together and define a workable strategy that revolve around common priorities of the two countries, especially as it concerns local producers and small local  processors in their respective countries.

Thus, from July 27 – 29, 2022, a networking workshop was held between Ivorian and Ghanaian civil society organisations on the sustainability of the cocoa sector.

At the end of this workshop, the Plateforme Ivoirienne pour le Cacao Durable (PICD) and the Ghana Civil-society Cocoa Platform (GCCP) welcomed and supported this initiative of the two States.  We reiterate our commitment to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGHCI).

During this meeting, we took decisions to act together and carry out concrete actions around four main priority areas:

1.Living Income:

We support our governments’ efforts to increase the farm-gate price and therefore the income of cocoa producers through the Living Income Differential (LID).

However, we call for:

  • At the international level,
    • We demand the cocoa industry to improve the price paid to producers,
    • A reform in the mechanism for setting prices at the international level which takes into accounts the cost of production.
  • At the national level,
    • A transparent mechanism for redistributing this LID in line with the commitments from the two countries during its introduction. To realize this mechanism, we call for the development of policy and implementation documents that will regulate the LID.
    • We recommend the establishment of a transparent and inclusive mechanism for setting farm-gate prices, taking into account all the relevant parameters that goes into producing cocoa by the farmer.

2.Deforestation and good management of natural resources            

We recommend:

  • The development of local sustainable land use plans which takes into account the socio-cultural dynamics of the communities
  • A revision of in-country pesticide regulation in line with new developments in Western countries which have banned a number of pesticides because of their harmful effects
  • The establishment of a national forest monitoring system for cocoa traceability and deforestation assessment

3.Human rights and Modern Slavery

  • We note that in recent years, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana have made progress in the fight against child labour, notably through the establishment of a clear regulatory framework and the creation of specific structures to better combat this challenge.
  • We recommend a change in the definition and context on the subject by properly situating the issue as human trafficking of children and modern slavery
  • On this basis, we recommend a focus on border control to better fight against child trafficking networks across West African countries.

4.Good governance / accountability and transparency

We recommend :

  • The development of a framework for the establishment of a national representative organisation of cocoa producers
  • Proper representation and participation of farmer and civil society organizations in decision making processes

We, the Ivorian and Ghanaian farmer and civil society organizations agree to build an African Civil-society Network for Cocoa, to lead on advocacy issues that concern farmers/ producers and small local processors within the producing countries in Africa.

Done at Grand-Bassam, 29 July 2022

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