Rainforest Alliance places farmer pay and EUDR legislation as key World Cocoa Conference topics

The Rainforest Alliance organisation is set to make a notable appearance at the World Cocoa Conference opening this weekend, placing farmer’s living income, EUDR regulations and regenerative agriculture as key issues for action to deliver on sustainability goals, reports Neill Barston.

As the non-profit group, which operates in over 60 countries, noted, they will be urging greater sector collaboration across the chocolate and broader industry in taking key steps to improve conditions for agricultural communities including in Ghana and Ivory Coast. (Watch our exclusive video preview of the event here).

Confectionery Production will be joining the event as exclusive media partners, with activities beginning tomorrow, and continues through to Wednesday, April 24, placing how to urgently resolve the financial situation facing farmers squarely in the spotlight through exploring how to raise farmer income.

As previously reported, some positive moves on this critical topic have already been announced in the past few weeks, with both Ghana and Ivory Coast raising farm gate prices by 50%, now paying the equivalent of $2,470 a tonne, which has been welcomed by industry organisations. However, this is still significantly short of the trading rates for cocoa, which have hit more than $10,000 on New York and London Futures commodities platforms, which has sparked widespread sector concern.

On the issue of EUDR regulations, Rainforest Alliance recently signed a key group of 37 NGO’s, including influential cocoa sector organisations such as the Voice Network, calling on the EU not to bow to pressure from a number of European countries to delay the implementation of these key legal frameworks designs to bring major environmental benefits, as well as strengthening support for origin communities.

As the joint call from the organisations noted, it is estimated that between 90-99% of all deforestation in tropical locations around the world is presently down to unchecked agricultural expansion that needs to be halted and given full legal protection, which the EUDR provides. However, last month a total of 20 European countries attempted to slow the introduction of the legislation from the planned date of the end of this year, but the European Commission has indicated that it will press ahead with its plans, given that it had already given member states two years to prepare for the incoming laws that compel companies to be fully transparent in their supply chains.

Rainforest Alliance participation
For its part, the Rainforest Alliance will be one of more than 40 businesses participating at the ‘Global Village’ spanning ingredients, equipment, systems and related cocoa and confectionery organisations.

This ranges from AAK, Buhler, Fairtrade, Puratos, Belcolade, the European Commission, Choprabisco, Ghana Cocoa Board, Farmforce, and the International Cocoa Initiative, Port of Bruges Antwerp, and Trade In Space, supply chains support services business.

Visitors to this year’s conference can meet Rainforest Alliance at its booth with its assembled team of experts from various regions will be available at our booth to discuss our latest initiatives and solutions aimed at shaping the future of cocoa production.

The organisation, which oversees a global certification standard observed by more than 2.3 million farmers internationally, explained that it will discuss how it is  approaching living income and supporting sustainable livelihoods through our work with partner companies, as well as examine EU Deforestation Regulation and enabling cocoa farmers to prepare for this major game-changing legislation. It will also place regenerative agriculture on the agenda.I

Its team of experts includes  Nadège Nzoyem, Senior Director West & Central Africa (Cameroon), Chandra Panjiwibowo, Senior Director Asia Pacific (Indonesia), Nanga Kone, Country Director Cote d’Ivoire (Cote d’Ivoire), Nicholas Jengre, Country Director Ghana (Ghana), Kerry Daroci, Global Cocoa Lead (United States) Christian Hohlfeld, Public Affairs Manager (Germany)

In addition, its senior director for West & Central Africa, Nadège Nzoyem, represents the Rainforest Alliance on a panel discussing the crucial role of women in the cocoa industry, highlighting our approach to gender equality within the cocoa supply chain, including through our community-led landscape management project in Cameroon. (Tuesday, April 23rd, 16:00 CET).

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