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Ways to tackle the cocoa sustainability and deforestation challenges

Cocoa has been in the news a lot in recent years. It’s one of those soft commodities that everyone cares about and feels they have a stake in. Who doesn’t like chocolate?

I spent a few days in the forests of Ghana, back in 2010, with executives from what is now Mondelēz (then Cadbury/Kraft) some years ago. The photos of those farms, the cocoa process and the people you can see here.

Here’s a podcast interview I recorded with Emmanuel Arthur, the executive director of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union (KKFU), tells the story of how Ghana’s largest farmer co-operative came about, fair trade in cocoa farming, and what the future holds for expansion. It shows just what’s needed, still today, to improve conditions for farmers. Note the last section on yield improvements, scale challenges vs. integrity in co-operatives.

 Moving forward to today, we focused in our weekly newsletter recently on the recent reports about the links between Cocoa expansion and deforestation in this piece:

Can brands be blamed for endemic development problems?

We then hosted a webinar discussion with Mondelēz (which they sponsored) on this area, which you can find here and below.


Mondelēz – Partnering to reduce deforestation in the cocoa supply chain
Cocoa farming is one of the critical drivers of deforestation and becoming ever-more the target of activist campaigning, but what can the cocoa sector do to drive real progress?

Just this week, Mondelēz has published further details on what partnerships and engagement can do for Cocoa farmers in places such as Indonesia. A report well worth taking a look at, here. Here’s a summary too. Their research, with lots of helpful back up comments from stakeholders, shows that these kinds of programmes can make a real difference. There are some compelling numbers in the summary report, and both it, and the full report, are worth reading, if cocoa is of interest to you.

Finally, given we have begun working on the next iteration of our annual smallholder farmers conference in London for mid-March 2018, I found this guide to how the SDGs can be effectively harnessed to help build capacity and resilience in smallholder farmers a really useful read.

We’ll be announcing our plans for 2018 events soon, and smallholders, FMCG value chains and the SDGs are a major theme for us at Innovation Forum next year. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss: Tobias.Webb@innovation DASH

More on this, as always at