“UPL’s long-term presence in West Africa has allowed us to develop meaningful relationships with farmers and industry alike. Our experience shows that we can achieve more when we work together, so we are delighted to join the ECA and continue to work as a trusted technical partner as we work towards a more sustainable cocoa sector, ” said Clair.
The ECA is a trade organisation based in Belgium, which monitors and reports on regulatory developments of primary concern to the cocoa sector, including food safety, trade, logistics, sustainability, environment, and labelling.
UPL’s membership of the ECA builds on existing relationships with the World Cocoa Foundation and the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, and continues its value chain mission at industry level, making possible new partnerships with food chain stakeholders across the European community and working to improve the overall sustainability of the cocoa value chain between West and Central Africa and the European Union.
More cocoa – less land
In our podcast interview, Clair outlined his ideas for the future of the cocoa industry in general in West Africa: “I feel we have reached a level of maturity in terms of what sustainability means and how much we are ready to commit ourselves for a more sustainable cocoa sector including the reduction of child labour and more foresters - and more cocoa on less land.”
Clair said there is a clear need for a shift towards regenerative agriculture with zero carbon emissions instead of the old mining agricultural model that takes the nutrients and the space from nature without giving back.
He called for cocoa farmers to be recognised and incentivised, and also rewarded for their positive contribution to environmental protection with their efforts in greenhouse gases reduction and global warming limitations, for example.
“If we can work more on these payments for environmental services projects and introduce more digital solutions to access PES (Payments for ecosystem services) for the end-user farmers, it would be a great way of benefitting the environment while also increasing farmer income,” he said.
- Listen to the full interview with Florent in our latest podcast episode,
Arysta Lifescience, a global agricultural company, has been a WCF member since 2015. Arysta was acquired by UPL in 2019. UPL is a global leader in sustainable agricultural products and solutions and has been working as a technical partner for the cocoa industry in West Africa for the past 35 years. It has revenues of $3.14bn and is present in 130+ countries.