Cocoa companies announce sustainability strategy in Ghana

May 23, 2014

Senior executives from 12 of the world’s largest chocolate and cocoa companies have signed a joint agreement with the Government of Ghana as part of a strategy to accelerate actions to make cocoa farming in the country sustainable. The plan, known as CocoaAction, calls for building a rejuvenated and economically viable cocoa sector through increased cooperation between industry members and the Ghanaian government.

Emphasis will be placed on providing cocoa farmers with a combination of productivity enhancements and community development interventions. These efforts are expected to enable no fewer than 100,000 Ghanaian farmers to achieve 100% increase in productivity as well as improving the communities where they live by 2020. The strategy will be coordinated by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF).

CocoaAction was developed by the companies in cooperation with the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s top cocoa-producing countries. CocoaAction will later be extended to other cocoa-producing countries and is already open to participation by others in the public and private sectors that support sustainability in the cocoa sector.

Through CocoaAction, the companies will work closely with the Ghanaian government and other national institutions to provide improved planting materials, fertilizer, and training to cocoa farmers, while promoting community development through education, child labor monitoring and remediation, and activities to enhance gender empowerment. A series of indicators, currently being developed by WCF, will accompany the strategy and will allow companies and governments to measure and manage CocoaAction progress.

Companies that have voluntarily committed to CocoaAction include ADM; Armajaro; Barry Callebaut; Blommer Chocolate Co.; Cargill; Ecom; Ferrero; The Hershey Co.; Mars Inc.; Mondelēz International; Nestlé; and Olam International Ltd.

Press release (pdf)