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March 30 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm CEST
Sustainability issues in the Cocoa Value Chain: will EU Due Diligence Legislation make a difference?
“Study presentation “Sustainability in the global and Austrian Cocoa & Chocolate Value Chain” (Hannes Grohs & Jan Grumiller, ÖFSE) and panel discussion “What should be done to strengthen Sustainability in the Cocoa Value Chain, and what Role can EU Due Diligence Legislation play?”
During recent years, the sustainability of the cocoa global value chain has become a major issue of concern to both producers and consumers. This relates to all three dimensions of sustainability – economic, social and environmental. Firstly, the living income of cocoa farmers has not improved sufficiently despite several initiatives taken to address the issue. Most cocoa farmers are still living below the poverty line with very low living standards. Furthermore, there has been a rise in environmental and social advocacy in commodity supply chains including cocoa. Challenges regarding deforestation, labour and social ethics in the cocoa sector are influencing consumption patterns for cocoa and chocolate products. Over the years, several corporate governance issues at sector and company level have aimed at improving the sustainability of the sector. Though some improvements have been made, many key human rights and other sustainability issues still remain unresolved.
Cocoa is thus one of the sectors that features prominently amongst the on-going discussion on corporate due diligence legislation in the European Union. Interestingly, leading cocoa and chocolate companies themselves are calling for regulation of the sector to create a level playing field for all actors. Based on the presentation of a new study assessing the current state of play with respect to the sustainability of the cocoa global value chain, the conference aims at discussing possibilities and strategic priorities for promoting human rights and the sustainability of cocoa production in the framework of the on-going debate on EU due diligence legislation. The discussion will shed light on the extent to which an effective EU Due Diligence Act can improve sustainability issues in the cocoa value chain. However, it will also ask critically were the limitations of such regulation lie.”