Bitter bean - sweet pleasure?
Many hands - few winners
5.5 million people grow cocoa worldwide; 95 per cent of them are smallholders. They are opposed by a small number of mainly large international companies. Cocoa farmers therefore have a weak negotiating position and hardly any opportunities to influence prices. Poverty often determines their lives. It is one of the main challenges in the sector that needs to be overcome in order to stop child labour and deforestation. For example, almost 90 per cent of households in the main producing country, Côte d'Ivoire, do not earn a living income with which they can afford basic needs such as food, clothing, housing, education and healthcare.
How the forest is disappearing
Cocoa cultivation is one of the main causes of the large-scale destruction of forest areas in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, the two main cocoa-growing regions. Since 1990, Côte d'Ivoire has lost over 90 per cent of its former forest area. A large part of this is due to cocoa cultivation. Depleted soils and poor cultivation practices are causing yields to fall further. Nevertheless, cocoa is still an important source of income that many people want to tap into. Previously forested areas are being cleared and new cocoa trees planted.
EU law on deforestation-free supply chains
In future, the EU will oblige companies to ensure that agricultural commodities consumed in the EU, including cocoa and chocolate, have not led to deforestation or forest degradation in the country of production. To this end, companies must declare where the cocoa is produced and fulfil due diligence obligations - the same principle as the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act. The BMZ supports partner countries such as Côte d'Ivoire, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Indonesia as well as companies in implementing deforestation-free supply chains for agricultural commodities. To this end, the BMZ promotes traceability systems for transparent agricultural supply chains and supports land rights for local, indigenous communities.
Strategies for better income and forest protection
The BMZ is working with its partner countries to promote a sustainable cocoa sector. Through projects, for example, farmers receive training in sustainable and climate-adapted cultivation methods as well as business management training. The diversification of income through the cultivation of fruit and vegetables is also supported. The promotion of agroforestry systems and satellite-based forest monitoring in Côte d'Ivoire counteracts deforestation and climate change caused by cocoa cultivation. Women play a key role in economic development and are given special consideration in the projects. Above all, however, companies and international pricing and market policies play a decisive role. Only by paying fair prices can farmers practise sustainable cocoa cultivation. Find out more at the BMZ stand in Hall 7.2c. at the International Green Week 2024 or on the BMZ website: Example Côte d'Ivoire - More income and a more balanced diet for cocoa farmers in West Africa.
Climate change up close
The consequences of climate change can now also be experienced in Germany. It is still just a few hot days and storms. The situation is different in many countries around the world, where climate change has already caused extreme damage and destroyed livelihoods. It has serious consequences for people and the environment, especially in developing countries. If we succeed in limiting global warming as quickly as possible and adapting to climate change worldwide, we can prevent uncontrollable consequences for our planet and at the same time create new development opportunities. The BMZ supports its partner countries in successfully meeting the challenges of climate change.
A 360-degree film to Madagascar
Visitors to the Grüne Woche can experience the dramatic consequences of climate change for themselves in the BMZ's immersive climate globe: A 360-degree film takes them to Madagascar, a country particularly hard hit by climate change. They not only see and hear how the inhabitants are suffering from climate change, but also feel the heat and the wind, smell the dry soil and the cattle. All these sensory impressions are generated by a so-called "climate tower" in the centre of the globe. Heat, odours and air effects are played out through it.