Despite laudable goals, CFI must improve

Since November 2017, the chocolate industry has embraced the goal of ending deforestation in cocoa. Coordinated largely through the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI), there has been an unmistakable trend towards ending deforestation, joint industry action, traceability, transparency, agroforestry, as well as other sustainable agricultural practices.

Unfortunately, despite these laudable efforts, deforestation linked to cocoa production in the top two cocoa-producing nations of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire has increased — not decreased — during this same two-year time period.

As we mark two years of the CFI, Mighty Earth has thus published a new white paper: “Cocoa and African Deforestation: Assessing the Cocoa and Forests Initiative in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.” This analyzes the CFI’s shortcomings and provides suggestions for improvement. While not a comprehensive evaluation, the paper aims to focus the attention of the signatories of the Joint Framework for Action on the need for clear impact, and key steps for achieving success in eradicating forest destruction. The white paper is also available in French.

In the months and years ahead, we believe that the world must bring increased focus to sustainable supply chains across the agricultural sector. We hope that cocoa will lead the way forward in commodity agriculture by ending deforestation in practice rather than on paper, and by embracing agroforestry to regreen devastated landscapes, as the world combats our wider climate and biodiversity crises.