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EU issues call to action in cocoa supply chains, backing mandatory due diligence legislation

Author: Anthony Myers, Confectionery News, Published on: 25 October 2019

"European Union calls for level playing field in cocoa supply chains, backed by legislation", 24 October 2019

The EU has issued a powerful call to action for…responsible cocoa supply chain[s], saying there is a strong case for mandatory due diligence legislation to ensure human rights and environmental protection...Heidi Hautala, vice-president of the [EU] Parliament…told delegates at the WCF Partnership Meeting in Berlin...there is fresh momentum for a responsible cocoa sector…and legislation…to ‘create a level playing field’ and support responsible companies…“the right combination of mandatory, voluntary, national and international measures…are needed to…force businesses to respect human rights… [C]hanges can be achieved only through legislative measures”.

[Hautala] referred to the French Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law…[placing] the onus on large companies to identify and prevent risks…that occur as a result of their…activities. The EU vice-president also praised voluntary initiatives…“but it is evident that all problems are not solved”… [D]ue diligence legislation would require companies to [prevent] illegally produced cocoa, or…cocoa not produced in accordance with social and environmental standards, [from ending] up in the supply chain… [T]racing the true origin…is difficult…“But…every customer has a right to assume that…chocolate he or she buys [is] not…contributing to social or environmental problems”…. [A]ny legislation would radiate way beyond its borders and would be an important way to sustainability and respect of human rights, not only in cocoa...

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