EU, partners hosts second multi-stakeholder roundtable on Cocoa

A cocoa plantation - File photo A cocoa plantation - File photo

The Delegation of the European Union to Ghana, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the COCOBOD have hosted the second multi-stakeholder roundtable on sustainable Cocoa in Accra

The environmental sustainability of cocoa production is at the heart of the second online roundtable discussion organised in the framework of the National Dialogue on Sustainable Cocoa.

A joint statement from the parties said the National Dialogue on Sustainable Cocoa in Ghana was launched in March 2021 by the EU and COCOBOD.

Madam Diana Acconcia, EU Ambassador to Ghana, said, "The EU is committed to tackling the problem of global deforestation and forest degradation.

She said together, as partners, "we can tackle climate change and biodiversity loss while ensuring socio-economic transformation."

"Transparent traceability system is essential to guarantee to all actors of the value chain that Ghanaian cocoa is environmentally sustainable,” she added.

Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive Officer, COCOCBOD, said, “The COCOBOD, in partnership with the Forestry Commission is currently working on a digital Cocoa Management System".

He said this system would map all cocoa farms, collect data on the profile of cocoa farmers, and ensure that Ghanaian cocoa can be traced from the farm to the fork.

Mr. John Allotey, Chief Executive Officer, Forestry Commission, informed that: “Transparent and inclusive traceability systems will facilitate the monitoring of cocoa production and its potential impact on deforestation and forest degradation."

He said such systems would establish a climate of trust among all stakeholders in the value chain, as "we have learnt in the set-up of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade - Voluntary Partnership Agreement and REDD+ Governance Structures.”

The first two online events attracted more than 150 participants each, confirming the high interest around sustainability matters in Ghana.

The second roundtable focuses on how traceability and transparency can be further improved to support a cocoa supply chain that can prove to be deforestation-free.

Representatives of a large spectrum of stakeholders involved in the cocoa sector - government officials, civil society organisations, farmers’ organisations, private sector representatives and development partners shared their experiences and lessons learnt around traceability as a mechanism to monitor and prevent deforestation.

Recommendations from these discussions feed a broader dialogue launched last year by the European Commission together with global cocoa lead producers Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

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