London — Twelve of the world’s leading chocolate and cocoa companies have agreed to collective actions aimed at ending deforestation and forest degradation in the cocoa supply chain, with an initial focus on Ivory Coast and Ghana.
The agreement was reached at an event organized by the World Cocoa Foundation, IDH — The Sustainable Trade Initiative and The Prince’s International Sustainability Unit attended by executives from The Blommer Chocolate Co.; Barry Callebaut AG; Ferrero SpA; Cargill, Inc.; Nestlé S.A.; Cemoi, Inc.; ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation Ltd.; The Hershey Co.; Mars, Inc.; Mondelez International, Inc.; Olam International and Touton S.A.
The agreed to measures addressing deforestation include greater investments in more sustainable forms of landscape management, more active efforts in partnership with others to protect and restore forest in the cocoa landscape and significant investments in programs to improve cocoa productivity for smallholder farmers.
“Cocoa is highly susceptible to climate change, with increases in temperature and reduced rainfall putting this critical input to chocolate at risk,” says Michele Buck, Hershey president and CEO. “The pre-competitive initiative we are announcing, in partnership with industry, governments, NGOs, farmers and other stakeholders, is one of the best opportunities to achieve our goal of ending deforestation and counteracting the effects of it in the cocoa supply chain.”