The European Commission is exploring bilateral agreements with the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to ensure sustainability in the cocoa sector, and in particular to tackle deforestation, farmer poverty and child labour.
The aim of these agreements should be to ensure a transition towards sustainable cocoa production that provides farmers with a living income, while ensuring that EU cocoa consumption does not contribute to child labour and deforestation. As the EU imports most of the cocoa coming from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, and many of the cocoa companies have major operations in the EU, such an agreement could be very effective.
Thirteen European, Ghanaian and Ivorian organisations have come together to launch a discussion paper.
It outlines our vision for a new partnership agreement between the European Union and the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to tackle deforestation, poverty and social issues in the cocoa sector. It explores what an agreement should look like, how it should be negotiated, who should be involved, and how it could work with expected new EU laws to address imported deforestation and human rights abuses.
We developed the paper over six months of extensive discussions with NGOs in the EU, in Ghana and in Côte d’Ivoire. The paper does not present a final position, but outlines the issues that negotiations in Brussels, Accra and Abidjan should consider.