The three initiatives bring together a large part of the national cocoa and chocolate industry, retailers, civil society organizations, research institutions and representatives of the respective national government.
By cooperating, the platforms say they want to accelerate efforts to combat the key issues in the cocoa industry. These include the eradication of the worst forms of child labor, achieving a living income for the cocoa farmers and their families, improving the transparency and traceability in the cocoa supply chain and stopping the deforestation linked to cocoa production.
In January 2018, the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa and the Swiss Platform already signed an MoU. The current agreement also includes the multi-stakeholder initiative Beyond Chocolate, which has been established in Belgium in December 2018.
One of the agreement's cornerstones is the harmonized monitoring system. The three platforms have agreed on common indicators to monitor and report on the four main challenges in the cocoa sector: child labor, poverty of farmers, cocoa traceability, and deforestation. A spokesperson said the coordination of these challenges at a European level will improve transparency and enable a better strategic priority setting.
Wolf Kropp-Büttner, chairman of the Board of the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa, said: “The three cocoa platforms together build the basis of a coordinated European approach towards a sustainable cocoa value chain. We have all important actors on board, we are in active dialogue with policy level, and – even when on a lower level – as well with the producing countries. To monitor impact and make results available in a transparent way allows learnings and improvement.”
According to the trio, the next concrete step is the further development of the common monitoring system. For this, the three initiatives already developed common key performance indicators for the strategic challenges. A priority topic is also the due diligence of human rights in the cocoa supply chain.
The three European initiatives will discuss strategies and impacting measures in a workshop and will bring these up on an international level. Furthermore, the platforms will organize several joint learning events and activities on issues related to a sustainable cocoa value chain.
About the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa
The German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO) is a joint initiative of the Federal Government, represented by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the German sweets and confectionary industry, the German retail grocery trade, and civil society.