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Not all cocoa makes rainforest disappear, possible non-traceable cocoa does

03 oktober 2019

Hi Carlijne, 

We read your article in the Volkskrant (Dutch): with every bite of chocolate we're eating the rainforest. Deforestation is indeed a big global issue; also in the cocoa industry. Too little measures are being taken in our industry. The inequality in the value chain and the extreme poverty cocoa farmers live in are the root causes of the problems in the cocoa industry: modern slavery, illegal child labour and deforestation as well. Our mission is to make all chocolate world wide 100% slave-free. We're working to solve poverty and inequality - the root cause of deforestation. We're also taking direct measures to stop deforestation. We're not a member of the Cocoa and Forest Initiative, because we think they won't go far enough. It's time for action, not words.

What we're doing

  • Our 5 sourcing principles (traceable beans, higher prices, strong farmers, long term ocntracts, productivity & quality) are the best way to solve problems in cocoa. Including deforestation.
  • We've got 100% traceable beans, which means we know exactly where our cocoabeans come from. With GPS-mapping, we've charted all cocoafarms that provide us with cocoabeans. For Ivory Coast all our partners have been mapped 100%. For Ghaha we're working hard to get a 100% complete mapping in the coming months. We doublecheck our maps against those of the National Parcs & Reserves, so we can make sure if a farm is using illegally deforested areas.
  • None of the farms we've charted are in protected areas or even bufferzones. The Ghanean cooperative we sourced from last year was not even close to protected areas. The risk is low in that case. New cooperatives we're going to start working with have to be mapped 100% in the first year.
  • If we find farmers in protected areas, we remediate the situation by relocating the farmer to a different plot and recovering the forest. 
  • In well organised cooperatives, farmers are strong together. They are very important in countering deforestation, because they know their members and guide them. They also get certification audits, so if one member violates the law, it is a risk for all. 
  • Our programs for productivity and quality are aimed at raising production of existing farms, making deforestation unneccessary. We offer knowledge, training and financial aid to invest in current farms. Next to rejuvenating current farms, we also support farmers in planting shadowtrees. Some 17.000 last bookyear.

What still has to happen. 
The nonbinding commitments of CFI are not going far enough to our taste, because the plans of the members are only a small part of the value chain. Regulation is needed to force companies to take responsibility for all the problems, especially the root-problem, in the chain. We'd love to talk with you about it. Only together we'll make chocolate 100% slave-free.
Hey choco fans! Because our parcel partners are incredibly busy at the moment, it could be that your order will arrive a little later than you are used to. So keep a close a eye on your track & trace code! Once we have send your order, you will receive it in your mailbox.

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