LONDON, May 5 (Reuters) - Chocolate and cocoa companies are
tracing where more of their cocoa beans come from, as pressure
mounts on them to buy beans from growers who are not linked to
deforestation or human rights abuses, data from the World Cocoa
Foundation (WCF) shows.
The industry group said companies can now trace or locate
the origin of 74% of the beans in their direct supply chain in
top cocoa producer Ivory Coast, and 82% of their directly
sourced beans in No. 2 producer Ghana.
Directly sourced cocoa accounts for about half the beans
that cocoa and chocolate companies source, while an indirect
supply chain - consisting of unaffiliated exporters, traders and
farmers - accounts for the other half.
Traceability, which includes measures like GPS mapping and
satellite monitoring of farms in order to prevent deforestation,
is far more difficult in an indirect chain that includes many
middlemen unaccountable to the final bean purchaser.
"To address indirect sourcing through middlemen, Côte
dIvoire and Ghana have both launched national systems to
achieve full traceability of the entire cocoa supply chain,"
said the WCF.
Alain-Richard Donwahi, minister of water and forests in
Ivory Coast, said establishing a national cocoa traceability
system and national forest monitoring was "an important
challenge to be addressed".
Ivory Coast and Ghana are also under pressure to clean up
their cocoa sector because the EU, their biggest customer, is
set to propose legislation aimed at preventing the import of
commodities linked to deforestation and human rights abuses.
If the legislation is adopted, it could come into effect as
early as 2024.
Ivory Coast exports 67% of its cocoa to Europe and its cocoa
sector represents 25% of the economy.
Its government has called for increased support from the EU
and other donors to help implement the proposed legislation,
including a request for more than 2 billion euros ($2.40
billion) to fight deforestation.
WCF represents more than 80% of global cocoa and chocolate
companies, including majors like Barry Callebaut,
Nestle and Mondelez.
($1 = 0.8333 euros)
(Reporting by Maytaal Angel; Editing by David Gregorio)