Senior executives from 12 of the world’s largest chocolate and cocoa companies signed a joint agreement with the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire as part of an unprecedented strategy to accelerate actions to make cocoa farming sustainable. The plan, announced as CocoaAction, calls for building a rejuvenated and economically viable cocoa sector through increased cooperation between industry members and the governments of the producing countries.
Emphasis will be placed on providing cocoa farmers with a combination of productivity enhancements and community development interventions. These efforts are expected to enable no fewer than 100,000 Ghanaian farmers and 200,000 Ivorian farmers to achieve 100% increase in productivity as well as improving the communities where they live by 2020. The strategy will be coordinated by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF).
CocoaAction was carefully and voluntarily developed by the companies in cooperation with the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s top cocoa-producing countries. CocoaAction will later be extended to other cocoa-producing countries and is already open to participation by others in the public and private sectors that support sustainability in the cocoa sector.
WCF President Bill Guyton says, “CocoaAction focuses on providing farmers with the necessary ‘full package’ of training and inputs needed to operate successful farms, while advancing the communities in which they live. It brings together the best elements of individual company programs, which can now be shared and scaled up.”
Through CocoaAction, the companies will work closely with the Ghanaian and Ivorian governments and other national institutions to provide improved planting materials, fertilizer and training to cocoa farmers, while promoting community development through education, child labor monitoring and remediation, and activities to enhance gender empowerment. A series of indicators, currently being developed by WCF, will accompany the strategy and will allow companies and governments to measure and manage CocoaAction progress.
A FAQ document about CocoaAction is available at www.worldcocoa.org