Veranstalter / Organizers:
Messe Berlin
Datum der Veranstaltung:
17-26 Jan 2025
Internationale Grüne Woche
17-26 Jan 2025

Bitter bean - sweet pleasure?

Germans eat 91 bars of chocolate per capita per year. But where does the cocoa come from? What do deforestation and (in)fair prices have to do with it?

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development will be informing visitors at the International Green Week 2023 on the topic of "sustainable cocoa," among other things.

Many hands - few winners

5.5 million people grow cocoa worldwide; 95 percent of them are smallholder farmers. The millions of farmers are opposed by a few - mainly large international companies. As a result, cocoa farmers are in a weak negotiating position and have little opportunity to influence prices.

Poverty determines life

The poverty of cocoa farmers remains one of the main challenges in the sector, which must be overcome in order to also stop child labor and deforestation. For example, in the main growing country, Côte d'Ivoire, nearly 90 percent of households do not earn a living wage with which they could afford basic needs such as food, clothing, housing, education and healthcare.

How the forest is disappearing

Cocoa farming is one of the main causes of large-scale forest destruction in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, the two main growing regions. For example, since 1990, Côte d'Ivoire has lost over 90 percent of its former forest area. Much of this is due to cocoa cultivation. Depleted soils and poor cultivation practices continue to reduce yields. Nevertheless, cocoa remains an important source of income that many want to tap into. As a result, previously forested areas are being cleared and new cocoa trees are being planted.

Upcoming EU law on deforestation-free supply chains

In the future, the EU will require 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 do this, companies will have to declare where the cocoa was produced and fulfill due diligence requirements - the same principle as the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act. Subject to adoption by the Council and Parliament, the regulation will enter into force at the end of 2024. 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, BMZ promotes traceability systems for transparent agricultural supply chains and supports land rights for local, indigenous communities.

Strategies for better incomes and forest protection

Text fieldThe German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (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 incomes through the cultivation of fruit and vegetables is also supported. The promotion of agroforestry systems and satellite-based forest monitoring in Côte d'Ivoire helps to counteract deforestation and climate change caused by cocoa cultivation. Women have a key role in economic empowerment and are given special consideration in the projects. But above all, companies and international pricing and market policies play a crucial role. Only by paying fair prices can farmers practice sustainable cocoa farming.

Close-up of a cocoa bean.

No cocoa, no chocolate - can cocoa production be fair and environmentally friendly? Photo: GIZ

Women in front of a cocoa plant

© Forum Nachhaltiger Kakao e.V.



Autor*in: Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung

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