Swiss Cocoa Platform celebrates 5 years with renewed commitment to farmer income and climate protection

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Close cooperation with partners in the countries of origin is of central importance to the Swiss Cocoa Platform. Pic: CN
Close cooperation with partners in the countries of origin is of central importance to the Swiss Cocoa Platform. Pic: CN

Related tags Cocoa Sustainability

A multi-stakeholder initiative bringing together more than 70 members from cocoa suppliers, chocolate manufacturers, traders, retailers, NGOs, research institutions as well as the Swiss Government, the Platform’s annual meeting was an opportunity to discuss progress and challenges from its annual report 2021.

Information in the report is based on the development of sustainable imports into Switzerland and revealed that in 2021, 71% of the cocoa imported into the country came from sustainable production.

This is a small drop after last year's big jump from 55% to 74%, but in view of the interim target of 80% by 2025, it is still part of the fundamentally positive trend towards even more sustainable sourcing. By 2030, the intention is for all cocoa imports to be traceably based on sustainable production​,” the authors said.

Other highlights of the report included:

• In 2021, members continued to actively participate in the development and implementation of innovative solutions with systemic impact. By the end of 2021, 88,112 farmers, 26% of them women, had been reached through the 14 value chain projects in the Platform's two calls for proposals from 2018 and 2019.

• Collaboration with European partners, the German Sustainable Cocoa Initiative (GISCO), the Belgian Beyond Chocolate platform and the Dutch Sustainable Cocoa Initiative (DISCO) was further strengthened. For example, joint working groups were established in 2021 on the topics of living income, child labour, climate and forest, as well as transparency and traceability.

In addition, attendees at the annual meeting were informed of the increase from 41 to 74 members, but for it to effectively address the challenges of poverty, child labour, climate and biodiversity there needs to an intensified cooperation within and outside the platform.

Countries of origin

Close cooperation with partners in the countries of origin is of central importance. In West Africa in particular, many cocoa farmers are still a long way from earning a living income, the meeting was informed.

The effects of climate change are also omnipresent. Solutions require not only to support individual farming families but must also aim to improve the entire environment in the countries of origin. This can only succeed if the perspective of the cocoa farmers is understood and taken into account in the solutions

Even if the perspectives and interests differ, the representatives from business, civil society and the federal government see a clear added value in the platform with a roadmap that makes a concrete contribution to the UN Development Agenda 2030​," said Filippo Veglio, who has been acting as the independent president of the association for two years.

Urs Furrer, director of the industry association Chocosuisse, spoke on behalf of the companies: "Today, Swiss companies are doing a lot in the area of sustainability. But the problems in the countries of origin exceed our possibilities for intervention. This is where the Cocoa Platform offers concrete added value. In cooperation with the various partners, the commitments of our companies can be strengthened​."

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