In preparation of the World Cocoa Day, starting point of the new production season in West Africa, the Chocolate Syndicate, which brings together the major players in the sector, including Transparence Cacao and some 4,000 chocolate manufacturers, ‘met symbolically on 28 September 2017 at the Embassy of Côte d’Ivoire in Paris, the world’s leading cocoa-producing country.
Patrick Poirrier, president of the Chocolate Syndicate, expressed the “triple challenge” to come up with a “sustainable” and fair trade chocolate to protect the cocoa sectors performances. Cocoa production “must be part of the fight against climate change by ending deforestation and developing agroforestry,” he said. It must also “work for a better farmers’ incomes” and “continue the struggle” against “the worst forms of child labor”. The commitments made by Cote d’Ivoire in 2014 to “lead to zero deforestation cocoa” imply a “change in the behavior of all actors in the sector”, warned Ambassador Charles Gomis: farmers, agronomists, industrialists, distributors, consumer associations, and even states. Cocoa is a strategic culture for his country, with more than 800,000 farmers, accounting for 15% of Côte d’Ivoire’s GDP and more than 40% of export earnings, according to the ambassador. A quarter of the population depends on cocoa pods, he said.
Major challenges which defined Transparence Cacao program to meet them, through training, technical support, financing communities projects and action plans to curbing deforestation.
On the sidelines of World Cocoa Day, the Chocolate Syndicate unveiled the first Panorama of the social and environmental commitments of companies in the cocoa sector, which illustrates, through testimonials and company informations, farmers , NGOs, and searchers … the commitment of all stakeholders and calls for continued efforts.