Towards a thriving cocoa sector for generations to come
The World Cocoa Foundation is an international membership organization that promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector.
Despite significant investments made by the public, private, and non-profit sectors in initiatives aimed at sustainability in the cocoa sector, cocoa farms continue to face significant challenges. Ageing trees, depleted soils, and lack of good agricultural practices are leading to suboptimal production, while community welfare is being undermined by child labor, gender inequality and a lack of proper education. Too many farmers are trapped in a cycle of economic and social decline, and cocoa farming is losing its appeal as a viable livelihood among younger generations. Predictions for the future suggest that there will not be enough cocoa supply by 2020 to attend to consumer demand.
Through WCF, the industry is committed to collaborating to create a rejuvenated and economically viable cocoa sector. CocoaAction is WCF’s voluntary industry-wide strategy that aligns the world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies, origin governments, and key stakeholders on a cocoa sustainability strategy.
NewForesight has been working with WCF since the inception of CocoaAction in 2013. We supported WCF on both strategic and technical levels in the design and implementation of the strategy: we defined the sector wide strategy; set-up the workstream structure and defined which parties would lead the implementation of specific strategic topics; and designed the roadmap towards future goals. We also led the way in promoting good quality planting material, coordinating industry input on the upcoming ISO standard on sustainable and traceable cocoa, and developing a farmer economic model to predict impact. Since the start of CocoaAction, we have seen trust growing between industry stakeholders. At present, this trust is extending to other sector stakeholders. This is already creating opportunities for many smallholder farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast, and is also contributing to CocoaAction companies’ competitive edge in the market, as well as to a stable supply chain.