Call for Adoption of Mandatory Due Diligence Framework to Promote Stronger Enforcement
WASHINGTON – Today, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) released policy principles calling for implementing a mandatory due diligence framework in the United States to address the risk of deforestation in the cocoa supply chain and support efforts to restore and conserve forests. Providing supply chain transparency through due diligence frameworks is an important part of efforts between governments, farmers, NGOs and the private sector to continue restoring forests in regions where cocoa is a major agricultural commodity.
“The commitments from companies, governments, and other key stakeholders are critically important as governments around the world contemplate deploying due diligence laws to increase supply chain transparency,” said John Downs, NCA president & CEO. “To end deforestation in the supply chain, we must work towards global harmonization at each point. The industry cannot do this alone; more work needs to be done with our partners on making a lasting, meaningful impact.”
Governments, including the European Commission, are currently debating initiatives to increase supply chain transparency and strengthen trade enforcement by establishing due diligence frameworks. NCA and WCF encourage the inclusion of the principles they are announcing today specific to cocoa supply chains in any finalized due diligence frameworks adopted by governments.
“Action is needed now to preserve what is left of West Africa’s tropical rain forests and mandatory due diligence legislation in the United States is an important tool in helping to achieve that,” said Martin Short, president of the World Cocoa Foundation. “Poverty is the main cause of deforestation and child labor in the cocoa supply chain and so any legislation must ensure that the primary beneficiary is the farmer and his/her financial welfare.”
The cocoa and chocolate industry is leading various initiatives throughout the world in close partnership with cocoa-producing countries to end deforestation, restore forest areas, and promote stronger enforcement of national forest policies.
In 2017, the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and 35 leading cocoa and chocolate companies joined together to work toward eliminating deforestation and restoring deforested land, and conserving existing forest areas. They created the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), which has resulted in:
- The governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are improving national traceability systems to achieve traceability to the farm level. Companies are achieving 82 percent traceability in Ghana, and 74 percent traceability in Côte d’Ivoire in their direct cocoa supply chain.
- Companies are training 620,000 cocoa farmers on agricultural practices that allow for greater production using less land and improved livelihoods.
- The government of Côte d’Ivoire is adopting a national satellite system to monitor progress and proactively address new deforestation.
Additionally, the governments of Brazil, Colombia and Peru are preparing a plan for sustainable cocoa production in the Amazon and developing a consensus framework that would prevent future deforestation. Through both the Cocoa, Forests & Peace Initiative in Colombia and the CocoaActionBrazil program, stakeholders are coming together to build programs that are working toward ending deforestation and developing new farming practices.
Click here to learn more about the forest conservation principles, cocoa supply chain due diligence and the current progress led by confectionery companies and NGO’s.
About the National Confectioners Association (NCA):
The National Confectioners Association is the leading trade organization for the U.S. confectionery industry, which generates more than $37 billion in retail sales each year. Making chocolate, candy, gum and mints, the industry employs nearly 58,000 workers in more than 1,600 manufacturing facilities across all 50 states. NCA advocates for an environment that enables candy makers to thrive and work to ensure that chocolate and candy are celebrated for their contributions to culture, society, the economy and everyday moments of joy. Learn more at CandyUSA.com or follow NCA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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