Transparency and accountability: towards building trust in the cocoa sector’s sustainability efforts

Alongside experts on the topic, Fairfood contributed to the Cocoa Barometer Consortium’s latest consultation paper on the added value of transparency and accountability to the cocoa sector.

“CSR”, “ESG”, and “sustainability” have become buzzwords in the cocoa industry, sector continuously tainted by widely unsustainable and unethical practices. Although commitments are coming, if we look at largest cocoa corporations examples, such as Nestlè or Ferrero, what we have are big plans and little evidence of action being taken. 

How can we break with the vicious cycle of vague claims and the on-going greenwashing? The new consultation paper released by the Cocoa Barometer Consortium, led by Voice Network, answers with figures and facts why transparency and accountability are essential to making sustainability efforts credible and effective. As there’s still a lot of confusion about what the terms mean in practice – especially if we add traceability to the mix -, the document brings definitions and examples of how they provide a level playing field for all actors in the supply chain, enable better market access and help increase farmers’ incomes. 

Read the Cocoa Barometer Consortium Consultation Paper

The consultation paper is the result of a joint effort led by Voice Network in collaboration with key expert organisations in this field, such as Fairfood, EFI, UCLouvain/Trase, IIASA and the Hamburger Stiftung für Wirtschaftsethik. The paper provides recommendations on the main contributions that each stakeholder group can bring to improve cocoa sustainability.

Four actions are outlined to make the cocoa sector more transparent and ensure companies adopt responsible practices:

  1. Set up credible national and company traceability systems that inform risk assessment and mitigation
  2. Make available reference forest and land-use data based on consensual definitions and methodologies
  3. Enhance transparency on purchasing practices, prices and farmer income
  4. Create systems for individual and joint transparency on child labour

Discover the added value of transparency

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