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Article

Large manufacturers and stakeholders call for EU-wide due diligence approach to regulate cocoa sector

"EU-wide approach to due diligence needed to regulate cacao sector, manufacturers and NGOs say"

...The manufacturers, including the likes of Barry Callebaut AG, Mars Wrigley and Mondelēz International, have teamed up with the Rainforest Alliance, the VOICE network and Fairtrade to create a joint position paper on the EU’s policy and regulatory approach to cocoa... [T]he group ask specifically for an EU-wide approach to due diligence, in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), which they say will “benefit all actors in the supply chain in terms of a clear and consistent set of rules and common intent”...

Although some progress has been made through a number of initiatives... these have often failed to adequately involve all actors in the supply chain.

Chocolate companies still have “a huge amount of work to do” in implementing truly sustainable policies, with some doing much better than others, the Washington-based NGO Mighty Earth concluded in a consumer guide ranking chocolate producers...

Julia Christian, forest policy adviser at Fern... said that “companies are known more for opposing laws which regulate their activities than for promoting them. So today’s statement by some of the world’s biggest chocolate companies... is commendable and a watershed moment”...

MEP Heidi Hautala, vice president of the European Parliament, said the EU “has a clear responsibility to ensure that cocoa entering the EU market does not make consumers complicit in child labour and deforestation”...