Stakeholders Brainstorm Pathways for Global Cocoa Value Chain Devt

Gilbert Ekugbe 

Stakeholders in the cocoa value chain have expressed commitment to address the lingering issues hindering cocoa value chain development in the world.

The move according to the cocoa stakeholders is apt, as they called on world economies to adhere strictly to sustainability measures and new regulations.

Highlighting the success of the World Cocoa Conference in Brussels, Belgium, held from April, 21st – 24th, the National President of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), Comrade Adeola Adegoke, said the event reinforced the commitment of stakeholders towards combating practices detrimental to the long-term sustainability of the cocoa industry. 

According to him, the key among the discussions was the implementation of the European Union’s Directive on Deforestation and Forest Degradation (EUDR), which signals a collective willingness to embrace change.

He said there are big questions that need answers, which include who pays for making sure cocoa farming follows new rules without putting too much burden on farmers and whether other countries are ready to join in making cocoa farming more sustainable, not just the big ones like Ivory Coast and Ghana, the procedure for the calculation of sustainable pricing or fair pricing that takes into consideration the cost of production and the profit margin without leaving the market model at demand and supply mechanism which has always short-changed the producers in past years?

“What happens to the encroached conserved areas with large cocoa plantations after 2020 which contribute almost 30% of the global cocoa supply if not more? How do cocoa origin countries strengthen the implementation of carbon credit in order for the producers to be encouraged in compliance?” He asked. 

He further drew attention to the preparedness of cocoa-producing nations beyond Ivory Coast and Ghana, which have traditionally received substantial investments in sustainability programmes.

Commending the European countries, Adegoke said they have demonstrated their uncommon passion for the consumption of chocolate at every corner of their daily activities. 

He urged West African countries, saying, “West African cocoa origin countries must start to chocolatize the toques of our children in order to change the culture of low cocoa consumption that transcends from one generation to another.”

“Our power must not only lie on production but more energy must be put into consumption in order to raise the livelihoods of our producers for the sustainability of the cocoa economy of our region.

Adegoke also called for a model of cooperation between forestry and agriculture departments within cocoa-origin countries to effectively implement the EUDR policy while addressing deforestation concerns.

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