Companies such as Nestlé and Barry Callebaut have agreed to pay a “living income differential” of 360 additional Euros per tonne for cocoa that they buy in 2020 from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. The move will help improve farmers’ income in the countries which together produce around 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa.
The decision followed announcements by the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana at the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) partnership meeting in Berlin, 23 - 24 October 2019, that they would not suspend cocoa certification initiatives and company sustainability programmes, so long as the companies agreed to pay the higher price.
Also on the agenda of the WCF was a proposed EU regulation to deal with the human rights and deforestation impacts of the cocoa trade. MEP Heidi Hautala described the European Parliament’s efforts to achieve due diligence regulation for cocoa and other commodities, and Leonard Mizzi of the European Commission announced that the EU was exploring the idea of agreements with cocoa-producing countries to jointly address the drivers of deforestation and child labour.
There was also company support. John Ament, global vice president of cocoa at Mars, said Mars supported regulation as it would help drive traceability in supply chains, and that such regulation should apply across other industries and be harmonised at the EU level. Elsewhere, Nestlé also expressed support for due diligence regulation, saying that such legislation should be based on the obligation to conduct human rights due diligence as defined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and that it should be carried out at a supranational level.