Last week, the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) held its 26th Partnership Meeting and Cocoa Sustainability Fair in Copenhagen. The theme of this year’s conference was “Connecting Sustainability, Standards and Certification”.

The event brought together 220 participants from 23 countries, encompassing WCF members, governments, NGOs, academia and civil society organizations. The agenda centered on discussing the current developments and next steps for sustainability in the cocoa sector, the use of standards and certification as a way of mainstreaming sustainable cocoa, and how to measure progress towards sustainability.

NewForesight CEO Lucas Simons was the moderator of the two-day event. NewForesight carries out the technical facilitation of the WCF’s CocoaAction strategy, the topic of the second day of the meeting. In the CocoaAction strategy 11 of the largest cocoa companies align their sustainability efforts, focusing on boosting productivity and community development in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

A big success was the cocoa quiz that Lucas presented following every break. Interesting facts regarding chocolate kept the audience alert and inspired. Attendees learned for example that a lethal dose of chocolate for the human body is 10kgs, or the equivalent of 40 Hershey bars. In contrast, one Smartie is enough to kill a blackbird.

The Partnership Meeting was a milestone in the process of aligning CocoaAction with key stakeholders, giving the audience a chance to voice their opinions on the strategy and its different work streams. Key issues were raised, notably regarding the current shortcomings of standards and certifications and how all stakeholders could work together towards enhancing these important tools for sector sustainability.

The full report of the meeting can be found here.