WCFPM 2022

World Cocoa Foundation pledges to maintain dialogue with Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana after Partnership Meeting snub

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Chris Vincent, WCF new president, addresses the Partnership Meeting in Brussels. Pic: WCF
Chris Vincent, WCF new president, addresses the Partnership Meeting in Brussels. Pic: WCF

Related tags WCF Cocoa Ghana Côte d'ivoire Sustainability

The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) wrapped up a successful Partnership Meeting, despite the absence of the two main producer countries, with new commitments announced on making cocoa supply chains more sustainable and achieving more impact in helping farmers gain a living income.

A spokesperson for the WCF said it had to close registration early because of unexpectedly large demand for the sustainability organisation’s first in-person gathering in three years.

The event in Brussels from October 26-27 focused governments, cocoa-growing communities, civil society, and companies on raising farmer incomes, reducing child and forced labour, and reversing deforestation.

We are excited to have had more than 350 stakeholders here with the shared ambition of creating a thriving and sustainable cocoa sector with the wellbeing of farmers and their families at the heart of everything we do​,” said Chris Vincent, the Foundation’s new president.

Vincent was appointed as the WCF’s new president before the start of the conference, along with the election of Peter Boone, chief executive of Barry Callebaut, as the organization’s new chairman.

The Partnership Meeting made progress on company commitments to make their supply chains more traceable, a key step in eliminating human rights and environmental abuses.

For the first time, it heard from the chief executive officers of three WCF member companies – Boone, Mark Schneider of Nestlé, and Dirk van de Put of Mondelēz International -- on their sustainability ambitions.

The meeting was also addressed by the Vice President of the European Parliament, Heidi Hautala, and by two European Commissioners, Didier Reynders and Jutta Urpilainen- who told the gathering about pending European Union legislation aimed at making supply chains more sustainable.

Producer countries

Attendees also heard from producer countries, including Indonesia. Musdhalifa Machmud, Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, told the meeting that producer countries needed consumer countries to share in the cost of making cocoa more sustainable.

Vincent acknowledged that the absence of representatives from producer countries Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana was a missed opportunity for further progress but said the WCF, a group representing 80% of the industry, would persist in its efforts to work with the two producer countries. The aim of the boycott was to put pressure on European decision-makers working on new supply standards to prioritise cocoa farmers’ living standards.

Our members will continue to focus investment through their company sustainability programmes, which seek to increase farmer income directly by rewarding sustainable farming practices​,” said Vincent.

They will engage with the working groups established by the Cote d’Ivoire Ghana Cocoa Initiative to develop an economic pact for sustainable cocoa​.”

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1 comment

Ghana Cocobod

Posted by Gary McKown,

Why isn't anyone looking into Cocobod as to why farmers are not being paid for their beans for almost a year?
The reason beans are short this year is because farmers are cutting down their trees and mining for gold to make a living in Ghana, all because Cocobod doesn't pay for the beans they take from farmers.
I haven't been paid for beans they took from me since July 2018. I am in the middle of a lawsuit with them now. They owe me 14.5M plus interest, and then I am suing them HUGE for not paying me all these years.
I haven't done a harvest on my farm for almost 3 years. I have 100 acres of trees.
J&G Plantation
Japekrom Ghana
I have no money to pull weeds, and fertilers, bug spray, and 34 workers haven't been paid all these years either.
Farmers in Ghana are very mad and no one seems to care. So cocoa beans have been short this year and last year because farmers don't get paid to do a harvest on their farms.

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