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

"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...