The Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI) announces significant strides towards its mission of eradicating deforestation in the cocoa sector through collaborative efforts between cocoa and chocolate companies, and the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. This cooperative venture, entering its second phase in 2022, has laid the foundation for a sustainable and responsible cocoa industry with renewed strategies and ambitious multi-year plans extended until the close of 2025.
As we reflect upon the achievements of 2022, it is evident that the CFI’s resolute commitment to environmental sustainability in cocoa supply chains is yielding substantial results. In both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, the 36 cocoa and chocolate company signatories to CFI collectively distributed a remarkable 12.4 million multi-purpose tree seedlings to cocoa producers in 2022 and 33.1 million since 2018. Additionally, payments for environmental services were disbursed to 23,155 cocoa producers in Côte d’Ivoire and 9,092 cocoa producers in Ghana, underlining the tangible benefits flowing back to the farming communities.
One noteworthy milestone is the significant enhancement in traceability achieved by participating companies. In 2022, they reported that 85% of their direct cocoa supply is now traceable down to the plot level. This represents an 18% increase in direct supply traceability compared to 2021, demonstrating the ongoing commitment of the CFI partners to transparency and sustainability.
Analyses based on Ghana Forest Compliance data have revealed that out of the 17,676 hectares of forest lost in CFI’s six priority areas in Ghana, 13.2% was attributed to cocoa production. Importantly, deforestation caused by cocoa production in Ghana remained stable compared to previous years. In Côte d’Ivoire, deforestation trends exhibited volatility. Although satellite monitoring tool IMAGES registered a decrease in deforestation in 2021, in 2022 it witnessed an unfortunate increase, resulting in the loss of more than 60,000 hectares of forest. A comprehensive analysis is required to determine the exact contribution of cocoa production to this deforestation.
Moving forward, landscape approaches will be central to CFI’s interventions, aligning with the ambition to foster collective action. In Ghana, partners in the Asunafo landscape have collaboratively developed a land use management plan. In Côte d’Ivoire, Yapo-Abbé and Bossématié have been identified as priority landscapes for focused efforts. These initiatives closely align with the respective government policies and programs.
In Côte d’Ivoire, the Ministry of Water and Forests (MINEF) deepened its collaboration with CFI companies in 2022, showcasing the commitment of public and private stakeholders to the initiative. The Conseil du Café-Cacao in 2022 embarked on a mission to plant 4 million trees as part of its broader goal to plant 60 million trees by 2028. Simultaneously, the Green Ghana project, led by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR), oversaw the distribution of 26.6 million trees.
Across both nations, national traceability systems entered the piloting phase and drafted the national guidelines for the African Regional Standard for Sustainable Cocoa. These policy developments, combined with the EU Deforestation Regulation, are poised to bolster the voluntary commitments of CFI, driving further progress towards a shared vision of a deforestation-free cocoa industry.
The Cocoa and Forests Initiative remains steadfast in its dedication to fostering sustainable practices in the cocoa sector. With collaborative efforts between governments, industry stakeholders, and local communities, we are poised to make lasting changes in preserving our precious forests and ensuring the sustainable longevity of cocoa production.
Quote Ghana: “As we all acknowledge deforestation and forest degradation as a common enemy to sustainable forest management, we must remain resolute under the CFI umbrella and invest resources to ensure that the principal objective of halting deforestation and forest degradation in the cocoa supply chain is achieved in the long term.” Samuel A. Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana
Quote Côte d’Ivoire: “The CFI action plan for the 2022-2025 period aims to consolidate the achievements of the pilot phase and to increase the impact of the actions initiated. Particular emphasis will be placed on the operationalization of the National Cocoa Traceability System and the National Forest Monitoring and Deforestation Early Warning System. These instruments are necessary to meet the requirements of the European Union Deforestation Regulation. Signatories to the Joint Framework for Action should therefore intensify the mobilization of the financial resources required for the successful implementation of CFI.” Laurent Tchagba, Minister of Water and Forests Côte d’Ivoire
Quote WCF: ‘’World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) recognises the urgent need to accelerate and scale impact towards zero-deforestation. Our organisation wholeheartedly supports the CFI and is pleased that both private sector and governments who have now recommitted to CFI 2.0 with collective action and co-investment a priority for the 2022-2025 period. This commitment aligns with the goals of the Paris Agreement, EU Deforestation Regulation, and other global frameworks aimed at curbing deforestation emissions and mitigating the climate crisis.” Chris Vincent, President WCF
Quote IDH: “The Cocoa & Forests Initiative is a strong partnership that continues to facilitate public-private collaboration in a sector under high pressure. But we realize that we are not where we need to be. Deforestation in West-Africa continues to increase and no matter what the contribution of cocoa to the overall number is: this trend needs to be reversed. To do so, all actors need to step-up, and mobilize resources by putting plans into action and moving forward in public-private partnerships.” Daan Wensing, CEO IDH
Source: World Cocoa Foundation