About 350 environment and human rights organisations have issued a joint declaration calling for more action by the governments of Ghana and Ivory Coast on sustainability in the cocoa supply chain.
Their sustainability action letter raises concerns about the alarming rates of forest depletion and advocates urgent measures for environmental sustainability and workable poverty alleviation interventions for farmers.
The Ivorian research Institute (INADES), the Ivorian Civil Society Convention (CSCI), the Ivorian Observatory on Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (OIREN), and the Coalition of Ivorian Human Rights Actors (RAIDH) are reported to be among the signatories to the joint declaration.
Significantly, the joint declaration stressed that more urgently needed to be done on reducing child labour in the industry.
Mighty Earth’s West Africa representative, Amourlaye Touré noted, “the coronavirus pandemic has compounded existing problems – more farmers are going hungry and child labour is skyrocketing as the economic impacts worsen.”
The group was optimistic that the cocoa floor price and the Living Income Differential (LID) agreed between Ghana, Ivory Coast and the global cocoa partners are welcome interventions aimed to help address sustainability issues like farmer poverty and child labour.
“A cocoa price floor is an important step, but the governments must now ensure that industry actually pays the mandated price and that the new funds raised from this initiative actually make it back to the cocoa farmers – many of whom are surviving on less than a dollar a day”, added Mr Toure.
Early on this week, the German Confectionery Association (BDSI) appealed that funds from the $400 per tonne of cocoa on export LID tariff be paid directly to farmers.
Some major cocoa processors and chocolate manufacturers including Barry Callebaut, Nestle, Olam cocoa and Cargill are reported to have agreed purchase contracts based on the LID tariff which commences with the 2020/2021 crop year.