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Cocoa Barometer 2020 demands system change to end poverty

Cocoa Barometer 2020 demands system change to end poverty

A report released by the Cocoa Barometer analyzing trends within the cocoa sector has highlighted the need for government and industry stakeholders as well as farmers and civil society organizations, to outline policies to end deforestation and human rights abuses within the cocoa supply chain.

According to the report dubbed, ‘Cocoa Barometer 2020’, after two decades of failed interventions across the cocoa sector, cocoa farming communities are still battling the effects of poverty, child labor, and deforestation thus the urgent need for regulation to change the system, recognizing that, bad farming is not the problem, but rather a symptom of a deeply unfair system, the report advocates for systems change and regulation that creates an enabling environment.

“Current forms of certification and farm-based standards increase pressure on farmers: instead, we need laws that hold the powerful accountable, rather than systems that demand farmers to solve systemic issues. Compliance criteria are imbalanced and need restructuring so that companies are held accountable for due diligence systems.”

The report also called for effective partnerships between producer and consumer countries to cocoa poverty. The 2020 Cocoa Barometer report also calls for a fair price for farmers as “the single biggest positive impact for farmers and incentive for farming sustainably is delivering a fair price for the cocoa they produce. Cocoa and chocolate companies must find ways to redistribute value along the supply chain so that farmers are guaranteed a living income.

“We need partnership agreements between producer and consumer countries that facilitate and finance system change, ensuring the right policies are in place. Processes that set partnerships in motion should be inclusive and deliberative, ensuring that civil society and farmer groups have a respected voice at decision-making tables,” it added.

The 2020 Cocoa Barometer report also calls for a fair price for farmers as “the single biggest positive impact for farmers and incentive for farming sustainably is delivering a fair price for the cocoa they produce. Cocoa and chocolate companies must find ways to redistribute value along the supply chain so that farmers are guaranteed a living income.”

After two decades of failed interventions across the cocoa sector, cocoa farming communities are still battling the effects of poverty, child labor, and deforestation. The 2020 Cocoa Barometer report published this week is a rallying call to action: it outlines the necessary steps governments and industry should take, together with farmers and civil society organizations, to end deforestation and human rights abuses in cocoa supply chains.

As a biennial review of sustainability in the cocoa sector, the 2020 Cocoa Barometer report provides stark details of how little positive impact current and past interventions are having for the farmers at the beginning of the supply chain. Twenty years into rhetoric, the challenges on the ground remain as large as ever. Poverty is still the daily reality for virtually all West African cocoa farmer families, child labor remains rife and old-growth forests continue to be cleared to make way for cocoa production.

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