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Working together for greater sustainability in cocoa production

January 7, 2019

Chocolate is always popular but particularly so during the run-up to Christmas, whether in the form of chocolate bars, sweets or Santa Claus figures. Germany manufactured 1.1 million tonnes of chocolate products in 2017 alone, according to sector experts. That makes it the second largest cocoa importer in the world, purchasing more than 10 per cent of the global cocoa harvest.

Most cocoa is grown by small farmers in West Africa, many of whom earn nowhere near a living wage from their crops. Inadequate nutrition and child labour are common in many areas. And growing cocoa can damage the environment as a result, for example, of deforestation.

An initiative launched in 2012 aims to improve the situation. The German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO) now has over 70 members, including the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the cocoa industry, food companies and non-governmental organisations. The aim of the initiative is to improve the lives of cocoa farmers, conserve natural resources and increase the proportion of sustainably produced cocoa sold on the German market. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been commissioned to coordinate the work of this multi-stakeholder initiative.

Originally published on the GIZ Website.

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