Following a July 2018 European parliamentary hearing, work has started on drafting a proposal for EU regulation on child labour and deforestation in cocoa.
A number of leading NGOs who have been trying to make cocoa more sustainable are behind the work, some of whom have been working towards this goal for almost two decades. They include child labour NGOs and environmental groups.
Mighty Earth spokesperson Etelle Higonnet (shown here) said: “Right now, we’re waiting for all the NGOs in the Voice Network and Cocoa Barometer and a few others to give feedback and participate in drafting the text as well as strategy, and thinking through any possible problems with a law, as well as solutions. We’re giving everyone till the second week of September to comment.”
Apart from the above-mentioned, other organisations involved in the project include FERN, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, and some Nordic environmental groups.
“Our plan is to try and get as much consensus as possible and get the best draft we possibly can,” Ms Higonnet told C&CI. “Then share it with all the cocoa and chocolate companies that have agreed to deforestation-free cocoa, such as Nestlé, Unilever, Godiva, Hershey’s, Cemoi, Valhrona, Ferrero, and Barry Callebaut, so that we can get their input and take it under advisement.
“Many companies have already said they’d support an EU law, so long as it was reasonable/well-crafted. Indeed, the Mondelez representative at the EU hearing in July even said so on the record at the hearing.” MEPs will meet again in the autumn of 2018 to discuss the proposals.
“We feel really hopeful that this will come together and that we’ll see a robust EU law emerge in the not too distant future, to help solidify the gains made in the last year from voluntary industry commitments,” Ms Higonnet concluded.
For more information see the September 2018 issue of Coffee & Cocoa International.