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Cocoa industry responsible for illegal deforestation in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, says report; inc. company comments

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Author: La Côte d'Ivoire et les entreprises signataires

Nous, les signataires de ce Cadre d’Action Commune, nous nous engageons à travailler ensemble sur les plans techniques et financiers, pour la préservation et la réhabilitation des forets de Côte d'Ivoire, en accord avec la politique forestière nationale en vigueur...Ce Cadre d’Action s’appuie sur la Déclaration d’Intention Collective annoncée à la réunion de haut niveau organisée par Son Altesse Royale le Prince de Galles à Londres en mars 2017. Il définit les engagements principaux, les actions tangibles, les objectifs assortis de délais précis et d’autres prérequis nécessaires pour une chaîne de valeur du cacao sans déforestation en Côte d’Ivoire. Le Cadre d’Actions a été développé au travers d’un processus multi-parties prenantes qui a rassemblé le Gouvernement, le secteur privé y compris les producteurs et organisations de producteurs, les organisations de la société civile nationales et internationales, les partenaires au développement et autres parties prenantes en Côte d’Ivoire et à l’international. Il est organisé autour des trois thématiques suivantes: • Protection et restauration de la forêt : cette thématique comprend la conservation des parcs nationaux et réserves, l’amélioration de la couverture forestière dans le domaine rural ainsi que la restauration des forêts classées, ayant été dégradées par les activités humaines, en particulier par l’empiètement des plantations de cacao; • Production durable et sources de revenu des producteurs: cette thématique comprend l’intensification responsable et la diversification de la production afin d’accroitre les rendements et revenus des producteurs de cacao, et de réduire la pression sur les forêts; et • Participation des communautés et inclusion sociale: cette thématique couvre les garanties sociales au travers de l’engagement de la société civile et des communautés...En signant ce Cadre d’Action, le Gouvernement et les entreprises signataires s’accordent sur huit engagements principaux...Actions pour la Protection et Restauration des Forêts: Les signataires reconnaissent l’importance cruciale de la protection et la restauration des forêts ayant été précédemment dégradées en Côte d’Ivoire. Ils s’engagent sur les points suivants...

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16 November 2017

Joint Framework for Action - Ghana

Author: Government of Ghana and undersigned companies

We, the Government of Ghana – through the Minister of Land & Natural Resources - and undersigned companies, commit to work together to end deforestation and promote forest protection and restoration in the cocoa supply chain in Ghana through this Joint Framework for Action. The Framework builds on the Statement of Intent launched at a High - Level Meeting in London hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales in March 2017. It defines core commitments, verifiable actions, and timebound targets required for a deforestation-free and forest positive cocoa supply chain in Ghana. The Framework was developed through a multi-stakeholder process that brought together government, private sector, farmers and farmers’ organizations, national and international civil society organizations, development partners, and other stakeholders in Ghana and at the global level. It is structured around the following three themes: Forest protection and restoration: this covers the conservation and rehabilitation of National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Wildlife Resource Reserves, Forest Reserves, and unprotected off-reserve forest lands; Sustainable production and farmers’ livelihood : this covers sustainable intensification and diversification of production in order to increase farmers’ yields and income and to reduce pressure on forests ; and Community engagement and social inclusion: this covers social safeguards through civil society and community engagement...By signing the Framework,Government and signatory companies agree to eight core commitments...Signatories recognize the critical importance of protecting Ghana forests and of restoring forests that have been previously degraded. They commit to the following: A.There will be no further conversion of any forest land (as defined under national regulations and using methodologies such as High Carbon Stock (HCS) and High Conservation Value (HCV) approach) for cocoa production as of 1 January 2018. B. There will be no production and sourcing of cocoa from National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, and Wildlife Resource Reserves, except from farms with existing legal status, as of 1 January 2018. C. A differentiated approach for Forest Reserves will be adopted by Government by 31 December 2018. It will be based on the following categories and will specify the number of hectares, timeline, roles and responsibilities, budget and fund-mobilization strategy for each category.

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24 October 2017

Commitment to chocolate

Author: Kristen Leigh Painter, The Philadelphia Inquirer (USA)

Cargill Inc. is increasing its commitment to sustainable-sourced cocoa as Western consumers seek greater assurance that their chocolate consumption isn't fueling deforestation and child labor...As a supply chain leader, Cargill is often scrutinized for its role in either helping or hurting environmental and social concerns associated with the harvesting of cocoa beans. The release of the company's third annual cocoa report comes on the heels of an investigative report by the British newspaper the Guardian that found "dirty cocoa" - or cocoa illegally grown within protected areas in Cote d'Ivoire, or the Ivory Coast - was being mixed into the "clean cocoa" supply chain...Cargill said its goals have evolved as the challenges faced by smallholder farmers have changed. The company has now turned these "evidence-based" discoveries into tangible steps that it can take to reach its goals by 2030. Taco Terheijden, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate's director of sustainability, said he hopes this acts as a clear declaration to define the industry's role and hopes it helps the local governments define their own role as well. " If you don't define your role, it becomes this thing where we are pointing toward one another and waiting for someone else to do something. These are not easy, quick problems to be solved," Terheijden said. Cargill aims to eliminate child labor from its supply chain by 2025 and deforestation by 2030. It has implemented a number of educational programs for its farmers to spot and avoid such practices. The company also continues to partner with CARE International, a well-known nonprofit, which is working to create economic opportunities for women and open schools for children. The company is closer to reaching 100 percent sustainable sourced cocoa beans in some countries, such as Ivory Coast, than in others, like Ghana where only 4 percent can be traced to sustainable sources.

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19 October 2017

Partnership for Productivity Protection and Resilience in Cocoa Landscapes launched at 2nd National REDD+ Forum in Ghana

Author: Partnerships for Forests

Touton S.A. and partners have today signed an MoU to launch the Partnership for Productivity Protection and Resilience in Cocoa Landscapes (PPRCL). The signing event took place in Accra, Ghana alongside the 2nd National REDD+ Forum instituted by the Ghana Forestry Commission, and was attended by the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo. Signatories include the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), the Ghana Forestry Commission, Touton S.A., Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute, Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC), and SNV-Netherlands Development Organisation. With Partnerships for Forests’ support, this project aims to achieve a deforestation-free cocoa landscape in the Juabeso and Bia Districts of Western Ghana and to develop a market for climate-smart cocoa beans. The PPRCL project is expected to make a major contribution to halting deforestation driven by cocoa production in Ghana.

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16 October 2017

Reversing deforestation - We want to safeguard cocoa farming and the Amazon for the future

Author: Cargill (USA)

As a leader in agriculture, food and nutrition, we are keenly aware that the strength of the global food system depends on the health of the world’s natural resources and farming communities. That is why we have committed to ending deforestation in our cocoa supply chain to help mitigate climate change and reduce habitat loss. The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, but it faces significant threats such as agricultural expansion. In the last ten years, this expansion accounted for half of all deforestation in tropical areas worldwide. It is also a region that has excellent conditions for cocoa. Our partnership with The Nature Conservancy in Brazil is engaging diverse stakeholders to reverse deforestation trends in the Amazon. At the same time, we are promoting a sustainable rural economy through agroforestry with cocoa on degraded or unproductive pasturelands. Through a three-year partnership, we are replanting areas of land that have been cleared of forest, as well as growing 1,000 hectares of cocoa using the forest canopy as shade protection. Farmers are able to expand cocoa production and become compliant with the Forest Code without having to give up the economic potential of their farm. To date, 100 farmers have been trained in Good Agricultural Practices and have had their farms mapped. 500 hectares of land have also been planted with cocoa and native forest. By 2020, we plan to reach 2,500 farmers in Brazil...500 hectares of land has been planted with cocoa and native forest...2,500 farmers will be reached by 2020...“Currently, 100 families are engaged in the Forest Cocoa project and 500 hectares have been planted with agroforestry cocoa. This highlights the opportunity to expand our efforts to more than 2,500 families by 2020 if we can establish inter-institutional arrangements with the private sector, public agencies and cocoa producers. Cargill's support has been instrumental to the success of the project." [said] Rodrigo Mauro Freire is Forest Cocoa Project Manager at the Nature Conservancy Council in Brazil.

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1 October 2017

Barry Callebaut joins Bonsucro sustainability program - Barry Callebaut joins Bonsucro sustainability program

Author: Barry Callebaut (Switzerland)

Chocolate and cocoa manager Barry Callebaut has joined Bonsucro, a multi-stakeholder platform that brings together industry representatives and NGOs to work on a sustainable cane sugar value chain. With sugarcane being grown in more than 100 countries around the world, sustainability brings with it a diverse set of challenges. Among them are human and labor rights concerns, as well as environmental challenges such as soil erosion and water scarcity. Joining Bonsucro is part of Barry Callebaut’s “Forever Chocolate” program, which is a plan aimed at using 100 percent sustainable ingredients by 2025.

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1 October 2017

By 2025 we will be carbon and forest positive

Author: Barry Callebaut (Switzerland)

Deforestation is one of the biggest causes of global warming. It emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through the “slash and burn” method for clearing forests, and at the same time reduces the amount of trees that will absorb carbon dioxide. Climate change has a severe impact on the world in general and agricultural regions in particular. Droughts mean that farmers can no longer rely on the rainfall that’s crucial to farming. And on top of all of this, deforestation leads to soil degradation, accelerating the downward spiral. If industry does not commit to reducing its carbon footprint and achieve zero net deforestation in its supply chain, the ecosystem that provides chocolate ingredients will rapidly erode...Since 2009 we have managed to reduce our relative energy use and carbon emissions by 20%. In the coming years we expect to make further reductions. At more than 75% of our production facilities we have appointed an energy champion who will lead on-site energy saving measures. In the coming years we will introduce an energy champion at all of our sites.   

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1 October 2017

By 2025 we will have 100% sustainable ingredients in all of our products

Author: Barry Callebaut (Switzerland)

We source a variety of ingredients – dairy products, sugar, palm oil, soy lecithin, hazelnuts, vanilla, coconut oil, and, of course, cocoa. In the coming years and decades, increasing demand, due to an increasingly growing and affluent world population, will create social and environmental sustainability challenges for the sourcing of these ingredients. To feed the growing world population, without depleting the world’s resources, the sustainable production of food stuffs must be scaled up from niche to norm. Cocoa Horizons Foundation: Our Horizons cocoa and chocolate products are traceable from our warehouse all the way back to the individual farmer. The premiums from the purchase of Horizons products flow to the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, which funds farmer training in good agricultural practices, farmer support, innovative finance solutions, initiatives to protect children, access to education, women’s empowerment and basic health services. Empowering vanilla farmers in Madagascar: Together with partners we are working to diversify and stabilize revenues of vanilla farmers in Madagascar by increasing the levels of vanilla curing at farm level, diversifying their crops through the introduction of cocoa farming and supporting the adoption of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil: Barry Callebaut has been a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil since 2011. By 2020, 100% of our palm oil will be sustainably certified and by 2022 we will be using only 100% physical certified sustainable palm oil.

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1 October 2017

Forever Chocolate - Our plan to make sustainable chocolate the norm

Author: Barry Callebaut (Switzerland)

As a direct result of cocoa farmer poverty, it is estimated that there are morethan 2 million children working on cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.Despite investments in education and awareness raising in the past years, and despite higher school attendance, the cocoa industry and cocoa origin countries have not succeeded in structurally eradicating child labor. Tackling poverty is a long term solution to child labor, but in the short term we need to put in place solid monitoring and remediation systems, in order to identify and forever eliminate child labor. In addition we need to work with governments, community leaders and the development community in origin countries to enforce existing laws and regulations against child labor, to provide an adequate school infrastructure, ensuring school attendance and availability of financial support in cocoa farmer families to send children to school. We need to support awareness raising and a change in the perception in the communities themselves...Together with the International Cocoa Initiative, we piloted a Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) with more than 5000 farmers in Côte d’Ivoire in 2016. Facilitators on the ground work with communities to track and remediate child labor, as well as pinpoint the factors that contribute to it.

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13 September 2017

Olam comment on the cocoa sector report from Mighty Earth NGO

Author: Olam

Olam is absolutely clear that deforestation by cocoa smallholders must be halted which is why it is a key focus in our sustainability programmes around the world. The issue is also well recognised at an industry level with Olam being a co-founder of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) which now encompasses 34 other companies. Together with the Governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana CFI will present a detailed action plan at the UN Climate Talks (COP23) in November. However, there is no fast answer. Deforestation by cocoa farmers is a direct result of entrenched poverty, which Olam and many of our peers, customers and NGO partners, have been tackling for several years. In Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana the Governments set the price of cocoa but farm yields are low. In these emerging markets, cocoa farmers often lack education and resources, unaware of techniques to maintain soil fertility, and unable to afford fertilisers. The solution for many is to farm on fertile forest soils. Since 2009, Olam has been working with Ivoirian farmers to improve productivity and incomes, providing agri and environmental training, credit, as well as health and educational infrastructure. In 2011 we began working with Rainforest Alliance to produce the world’s first climate friendly cocoa with farmers in Ghana, and our programmes have increasingly included measures to protect forests. Today, over 85,000 cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and 30,000 in Ghana are in Olam Livelihood Charter programmes which include focus areas on deforestation, and the planting of shade and forestry trees...A significant issue is traceability...In addition to our own initiatives, the actions proposed under CFI are already designed to take into account the entrenched poverty whilst embedding sustainable smallholder practices.

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