Actors in the cocoa supply chain have issued a position paper to call on the European Union to establish “bilateral agreements” with cocoa-producing countries to complement upcoming EU mandatory due diligence legislation on cocoa.
The actors in their statement pledged full support for the implementation of the EU due diligence legislation, but cautioned that, “its effectiveness will be limited unless it is coupled with the creation of enabling environments required to make progress on sustainable cocoa farming within cocoa-producing countries”.
“Accordingly, we believe that it is essential for the EU to pursue the establishment of long-term partnership agreements with the governments of cocoa-producing countries, ensuring that all relevant stakeholders are involved, including local community representatives, farmers, industry, and civil society. These partnership agreements should include time-bound frameworks for action for all parties involved. They should place a particular emphasis on actions at the policy level by producer governments and include incentive mechanisms and support from the EU and its members”.
They recommended that the objectives of the partnerships agreements between the EU and cocoa producing countries must focus on four key areas;
- Clarify what is needed to establish a sustainable cocoa sector within the producer country partner and what different actors in the supply chain need to do to achieve it.
- Set out the changes in governance, including transparency, and policy, and/or improved enforcement of existing policies, that would be needed to produce cocoa sustainably.
- Put in place incentive and support mechanisms, including funding, to ensure that the required policy changes and measures are implemented.
- Establish monitoring systems to assess the impacts of the policy changes and measures and ensure that any unintended negative consequences for people or the environment are avoided.
The position paper was signed by Fairtrade International, International Cocoa Initiative, Mondelez International, Nestle, Unilever, Rainforest Alliance, Voice Network and other Civil Society and Private Sector Actors in the cocoa value chain.