The African Platform for Sustainable Cocoa proposes a change in the way the cocoa market operates

 

The African Civil Society Platform for Sustainable Cocoa is proposing for a change in the way the cocoa market operates in Africa and across the globe.

According to the platform cocoa farmers must be given a realistic floor price for their cocoa taking into consideration the true cost of production on the farm.

The Platform is calling on the governments of the two countries to open a forum for discussion on their proposal which could take place through the Côte d’Ivoire Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGCI) to help address these concerns which is essential for the future of the cocoa sector.

Below is the full declaration:

DECLARATION BY CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS FROM COTE D’IVOIRE AND GHANA TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE COCOA SECTOR

 Background

In July 2022, the Ivorian Platform for Sustainable Cocoa/Plateforme Ivoirienne pour le Cacao Durable (PICD) and the Ghana Civil-society Cocoa Platform (GCCP) met in Grand Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire, to streamline advocacy efforts toward the sustainable realization of a living income for cocoa farmers.

This alliance dubbed “The African Civil Society Platform for Sustainable Cocoa” identified and agreed on four (4) priority areas to focus on. Since 2022, the Alliance has released a series of joint position papers and statements on national, regional and international cocoa sector issues and collaborated around global events. These efforts have contributed to the development, review and perspective sharing on cocoa sector policies to ensure prioritization of cocoa farmers’ welfare.

For example, the issue of a living income has become central to all discussions in the industry. The recent World Cocoa Conference is a perfect illustration of this. The PICD and the GCCP see this development as proof that their joint commitment can achieve results.

Even if there is still a great deal of work to be done to move from words to concrete action, the fact that the issues previously put forward only by civil society are now at the heart of the discussions is already a great step forward.

When meeting alongside the Amsterdam Cocoa Week and World Cocoa Conference in 2024, the Alliance agreed to take stock of its achievements, challenges and re-evaluate its strategies to align with new developments in the cocoa sector and develop a roadmap for the next 5 years.

It is on this note that the Alliance held a strategic workshop on June 11th and 12th 2024 in Accra-Ghana and further defined the priorities to focus on as follows:

  1. Living Income

The African Platform for Sustainable Cocoa believes that achieving a living income is first and foremost a human right, and that it will involve changing the way the cocoa market operates and promoting a real policy of diversification, putting cooperatives at the front and center. The first step in achieving this is to have a realistic floor price for cocoa that take into consideration the true cost of cocoa production. We therefore call on the governments of the two countries to open a forum for discussion, which could take place through the Côte d’Ivoire Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGCI), to address these issues that are essential for the future of the cocoa sector.

  1. Deforestation & Environmental Sustainability

For the platform, the long-term viability of the cocoa sector also depends on stopping deforestation and restoring land that has already been deforested. In this regard, the African Regional Standard (ARS 1000) and the European Union regulation on products linked to deforestation and degradation (EUDR) appear to be important tools for achieving this objective. The effective implementation of these tools, however, greatly relies on cooperatives and requires that producers benefit from technical and financial support to play their role fully. For this to be a just transition elevating the entire sector towards sustainability, we therefore call on all stakeholders, particularly governments, to put in place the necessary framework to support producers.

  1. Child Labour

Child trafficking and child labour are a reality in the cocoa industry. This reality has prompted governments to set up high-level structures to deal with this scourge. The platform’s aim is to support the important work being done by the authorities. However, it is important to reframe this issue in the context of the socio-cultural and traditional realities in both countries to promote a common understanding and address it more efficiently. We, therefore, call for civil society to be involved in child labor initiatives and multistakeholder platforms to facilitate the identification and implementation of practical solutions to identify and protect children.

  1. Good Governance, Accountability and Transparency

Producer confidence in the systems is essential to the sustainability of the sector and this confidence requires greater transparency and accountability on the part of national decision-makers, as well as greater involvement of producer organizations and civil society in decision-making instances. It is for this reason that we reiterate our appeal to our governments and to the governance structures of the cocoa sector in our countries to be involved in decision-making and contribute in a constructive spirit to finding solutions for the challenges facing the cocoa sector.

For each of the above priorities, the African Civil Society Platform for Sustainable Cocoa will be active through advocacy, capacity building, research and independent monitoring of policies implemented by all actors and develop partnerships with all stakeholders.

About The African Civil Society Platform for Sustainable Cocoa

The African Civil Society Platform for Sustainable Cocoa was created in July 2022 in Grand Bassam (Cote d’Ivoire). It currently comprises the Côte d’Ivoire Sustainable Cocoa Platform and the Ghana Civil-society Cocoa Platform.

Contacts

Côte d’Ivoire :

Pauline ZEI [email protected] / +225 0101044644 /

Bakary Traoré : [email protected] / +225 0749102193

Ghana:

Nana Kwasi B. Ackah [email protected] / +233 (0)247452948 /

Obed Owusu-Addai [email protected] / +233 (0) 203800800

Story by: Nana Yaw Reuben

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