EU legislation and economic downturn – sustainability in cocoa is more important than ever

EU legislation and economic downturn – sustainability in cocoa is more important than ever

Kate Clancy,​ the sustainability lead for Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business, believes “when it comes to supply chains and costs and expectations on how society should run … I think that it actually means we will see increased interest in the sustainability of business and the sustainability of society at large, and if anything that will continue to create interest and expectation for the work that’s being done.

And what I hope is that it will be increasingly mainstreamed and we’ll accelerate the work that we’re doing. So, I think the need will only increase, or, let’s say the need is there and will remain … but I think the expectation to deliver will increase​.”

But with EU regulation expected to come into force later this year to ensure that supply chains are free from processes and products that cause deforestation. Companies must prove that their products are produced legally or will be unable to sell products in the EU that were produced on land cleared after 2020.

One of the issues flagged by the cocoa sector is that the new requirements may harm small-scale farmers and fail to make a visible difference to global deforestation. Another issue is that companies sourcing products such as cocoa from West Africa from individual farms may simply exclude them from the value chain all together, leaving farmers destitute.

Clancy​ says another way in which you can combat deforestation and address livelihoods, is “when a farmer knows that they own their land​ … the same way when you and I know that we actually own the house that we’re living in, you’re more likely to invest in it.

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