The World Cocoa Foundation has launched a new program to address the threat climate change poses to cocoa sustainability by helping farmers adapt to the impacts of shifting weather patterns.
The partnership brings together ACDI/VOCA , the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and some of the world’s leading chocolate and cocoa companies including Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Ecom Agrotrade, The Hershey Company, Lindt & Sprüngli, Mars, Inc., Nestlé, Olam International Ltd, and Touton.
“Addressing climate change is an important priority for the cocoa and chocolate industry, farmers, small businesses and national governments in origin producing countries, and the broader international community,” says Tim McCoy, acting WCF president. “Addressing this issue today will help prepare for tomorrow and will build the foundation for a strong private sector platform. Investing in climate smart cocoa is a critical step in ensuring greater sustainability in the cocoa sector and positions our industry to respond to the realities of climate change discussed at COP21 in Paris last year.”
This program will help develop solutions to climate and weather variability and deforestation, which pose critical economic, social and environmental threats to millions of smallholder cocoa farmers, national economies of cocoa producing countries, and the global cocoa and chocolate industry.
The program builds on existing industry commitments to increase cocoa productivity among smallholder producers in countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Liberia as well as the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Involved partners will develop innovations to assist cocoa farmers such as such as research and development of climate resilient planting material, improved farming practices, and new agroforestry models.