Agricultural commodity consumption in the EU - Cocoa
February 14, 2018

Cocoa consumption is a major cause of deforestation – estimated to have destroyed an area of forest the size of Belgium between 1988 and 2008. Other problems include endemic use of child labour, local tenure conflicts, and extreme poverty among cocoa farmers and their families. As the world’s largest importer, manufacturer and consumer of cocoa and cocoa products, the European Union (EU) has a special responsibility to help tackle these issues. Fern is calling for the EU to take action to ensure cocoa imports don’t cause deforestation, and pay farmers a fair income.

This is the third in a series of background notes on agricultural commodities.

 

Briefing notes in this series:

Palm oil soy factSoy fact sheetcocoaBeef

 
References for the findings in this briefing note:
  1. 1  World Bank, 2017. Eliminating Deforestation from the Cocoa Supply Chain: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/876071495118818649/pdf/115144-REVISED-20170530-Cocoa-final-updated.pdf
  2. https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/hs92/1801/ 
  3. 3 https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/hs92/1801/ 
  4. 4 World Bank, 2017.  Eliminating Deforestation from the Cocoa Supply Chain: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/876071495118818649/pdf/115144-REVISED-20170530-Cocoa-final-updated.pdf 
  5. 5 CBI Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2016.  CBI Trade Statistics: Cocoa in Europe: https://www.cbi.eu/sites/default/files/market_information/researches/trade-statistics-europe-cocoa-2016.pdf
  6. 6 Maria Squicciarini and Johan Swinnen (eds), 2016. The Economics of Chocolate, Ch. 2 (Oxford University Press).  
  7. 7 Maria Squicciarini and Johan Swinnen (eds), 2016. The Economics of Chocolate, Ch. 2 (Oxford University Press).  
  8. 8 CBI Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2016.  CBI Trade Statistics: Cocoa in Europe: https://www.cbi.eu/sites/default/files/market_information/researches/trade-statistics-europe-cocoa-2016.pdf
  9. Percentages for Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are an approximation.  According to ICCO data (see next footnote), Côte d’Ivoire was predicted to account for 39% of global production and Ghana 21% in 2015-16.
  10. 10 See for example Mongabay, July 2016: https://news.mongabay.com/2016/07/huge-cacao-plantation-in-peru-illegally-developed-on-forest-zoned-land/
  11. 11 European Commission, 2013.  The Impact of EU Consumption on Deforestation, European Commission Technical Report:   http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/pdf/1.%20Report%20analysis%20of%20impact.pdf
  12. 12 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/13/chocolate-industry-drives-rainforest-disaster-in-ivory-coast
  13. 13 Francois Ruf & Frederic Varlet 2017, The Myth of Zero Deforestation Cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire
  14. 14 Mighty Earth, 2017.  Chocolate’s Dark Secret: www.mightyearth.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/chocolates_dark_secret_english_web.pdf
  15. 15 Regassa Namara, Boubacar Barry et al, 2011. An Overview of the Development Challenges and Constraints of the Niger Basin and Possible Intervention Strategies. (International Water Management Institute), p. 5
  16. 16 Financial Times, 18th December 2014: https://www.ft.com/content/80e196cc-8538-11e4-ab4e-00144feabdc0?mhq5j=e5
  17. 17 Maria Squicciarini and Johan Swinnen (eds), 2016. The Economics of Chocolate, Ch. 2 (Oxford University Press).  
  18. 18 Cocoa Barometer 2015: http://www.cocoabarometer.org/Download_files/Cocoa%20Barometer%202015%20Print%20Friendly%20Version.pdf
  19. 19 World Bank website: www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2016/06/08/ending-extreme-poverty
  20. 20 Financial Times, 22nd June 2017
  21. 21 November 2017 cocoa price information comes from the Nasdaq website:  www.nasdaq.com/markets/cocoa.aspx?timeframe=10y
  22. 22 Financial Times, 18th December 2014: www.ft.com/content/80e196cc-8538-11e4-ab4e-00144feabdc0?mhq5j=e5
  23. 23 http://www.childlaborcocoa.org/images/Payson_Reports/Tulane%20University%20-%20Two-Page%20Summary%20of%20Research%20Findings%20-%2030%20July%202015.pdf
  24. 24 See for example:  http://www.foodispower.org/slavery-chocolate/
  25. 25 See the work of Francois Ruf of CIRAD.  For example, this publication with Götz Schroth of UNDP: Chocolate_forests_and_monocultures: an_historical_review_of_cocoa_growing_and_its_conflicting_role_in_tropical_deforestation_and_forest_conservation: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261713726_
  26. 26 UTZ website: https://utz.org/merger/
  27. 27 Mongabay, 2017: https://news.mongabay.com/2017/06/rainforest-alliance-utz-announce-merger-to-create-single-sustainability-standard-and-certification-program
  28. 28 World Bank, 2017.  Eliminating Deforestation from the Cocoa Supply Chain: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/876071495118818649/pdf/115144-REVISED-20170530-Cocoa-final-updated.pdf
  29. 29 Fern, 2016.  Company Promises: How Businesses are Meeting Commitments to End Deforestation: http://www.fern.org/sites/fern.org/files/Company%20promises.pdf
  30. 30  Francois Ruf & Frederic Varlet, 2017. The Myth of Zero Deforestation Cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire
  31. 31 World Cocoa Foundation information: http://www.worldcocoafoundation.org/cocoa-forests-initiative/
  32. 32 http://www.fern.org/blueprint
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