As of the end of 2018, a total of 31 companies had submitted draft action plans designed to reduce deforestation to the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF).
The plans are being aggregated and shared with the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in order that they be publish them by early February 2019.
The companies’ plans identify actions they will carry out over the next five years to fulfil their commitments in the three pillars in the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) frameworks.
As part of this process, the CFI is also identifying activities which companies can collaborate on at a pre-competitive level in order to drive efficiency, impact and scale. The company action plans are aligned with the priorities set out in the National Implementation Plans.
The WCF said that, actions that many companies are prioritizing in their action plans fulfil their commitments across the three pillars in the CFII.
Under forest protection and restoration examples include farm mapping in their direct supply chains; conducting deforestation risk assessments of areas surrounding farms; promotion of cocoa agroforestry for restoration; and developing financial mechanisms for forest protection and restoration.
Under productivity and livelihoods examples include companies working with farmers to ‘grow more cocoa on less land’; promoting cocoa agroforestry with a focus on sustainable cocoa production and diversified income generation.
Social inclusion examples include sensitizing communities about forest conservation.
As highlighted in the January 2019 issue of C&CI, despite pledges to halt deforestation caused by cocoa farming, 12 months after a commitment to do so by the global chocolate industry more than half of Ivorian protected areas reviewed in a new report have seen deforestation increase rather than decline.
Despite the chocolate industry’s pledge to cease sourcing cocoa linked to deforestation one year ago, a new Mighty Earth report has found that deforestation in West Africa caused by cocoa farming has continued, and in some cases has increased. The report, Behind the Wrapper: Greenwashing in the Chocolate Industry, identifies deforestation hotspots, including in protected areas and national parks, putting some of the last refuges for forest elephants and chimpanzees at risk and threatening the stability of the regional climate.