EU ‘Team Europe’ major funding for cocoa sustainability welcomed by Ivory Coast

The EU is reportedly set to deliver €450 million in support funds towards assisting the Ivory Coast tackle major cocoa sector sustainability challenges of deforestation and child labour, according to the West African government, writes Neill Barston.

Notably, the initiative, which comes under the banner of Team Europe, consisting of the European Union alongside financial investment partners, emerged from a meeting held late last month in Abidjan between the two parties.

According to a statement released on the Ivory Coast’s official government website, Ivory Coast’s prime minister Patrick Achi welcomed the backing from the EU, and confirmed that it complied with three core areas of focus including the protection of forests, tackling child labour on plantations and improving the income of producers.

In addition the Ivory Coast government noted that the Prime Minister assured that progress is notable in terms of actions in favour of the sustainability of cocoa, and that it was now a question of mobilising resources to deliver a structure programme of action.

The meeting in Abidjan saw representation from Koen Doens, the EU’s European director generation for international partnerships, who is reportedly told the Ivorian government that its support for the Ivory Coast would be backed by legislative measures.

Significantly, the senior level gathering in Ivory Coast also saw the European Union reportedly present Ivory Coast with projects supporting the government’s National Sustainable Cocoa Strategy, valued at €37 million, which the country said represented a first step in its wider support for ongoing schemes focused on delivering sustainability.

Indeed, as Confectionery Production has previously covered, the EU is presently seeking to adopt due diligence frameworks for cocoa supply chains that place a burden of responsibility to importing companies within Europe that goods meet set sustainability standards.

The accompanying legislation has been in the pipeline for some while, with a draft version passed in February 2022, binding companies to be mindful of entire value chains in their activities.

However,  much to the frustration of those advocating change, there have been delays to decisions amid reported industry lobbying over the details and requirements surrounding the scope of  legal framework – which has provoked some concerns surrounding whether such measures would increase business operating costs significantly at a time of major pressure from wider economic uncertainties and inflationary costs.

Confectionery Production has approached EU sources for further comment on the story, which will see a number of ventures delivered as part of the investment.



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