Europe is the world's largest importer of cocoa beans, with 61% of world imports. Likewise, in Peru during the first half of 2021 alone, exports of cocoa and its derivatives grew by 9% compared to 2020, amounting to more than the US $150 million in revenues, according to the Association of Exporters (ADEX).
Responding to this growing demand and to the new requirements of the European market to curb products that come from deforestation, the Peruvian Coalition for Sustainable Production (Coalición por una Producción Sostenible) has been promoting the Cocoa, Forests and Diversity Agreement, an initiative that seeks to promote sustainable cocoa production through processes that respect the Amazonian forests by 2025.
On 17 November 2021, the European Commission published a draft law aiming at reducing the EU’s contribution to deforestation linked to six internationally traded commodities, which account for almost 80% of all deforestation.
This proposed law came into being as a result of the 1.2 million people who took part in the public consultation on deforestation through the #Together4Forest campaign, which was endorsed by Rikolto. Learn more about what it means for our forests.
The Coalition for Sustainable Production is a multi-stakeholder platform that promotes Peru's global leadership in tropical agriculture and territories that guarantee deforestation-free and low-emission production.
The implementation of this agreement, which dates from 2021, will be the responsibility of all its members. Solidaridad, a leading international civil society organisation, holds the technical secretariat of the agreement, with support from TFA and USAID.
The agreement's action plan will focus on five priorities: (1) to determine the year of reference for monitoring deforestation in cocoa; (2) to establish monitoring and traceability tools for deforestation-free cocoa; (3) to launch a platform of services to support deforestation-free production; (4) development of incentives for producers for the sustainable production transition; and (5) communication and funding management to develop the action plan.
The Action Plan of the Agreement was presented on Thursday 21 April, and attended by representatives of the private sector, civil society and government.
The members of the Agreement were accompanied by representatives of public institutions such as DEVIDA, the Ministry of the Environment and SERFOR; companies such as La Ibérica; and the Latin American Guarantee Fund FOGAL.
Also present were the Swiss Cooperation - Seco and representatives of the USAID delegation in Peru. Other international delegations included participants from the British Embassy, the European Union and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, represented by its Ambassador to Peru, Mrs Nathalie Lintvelt.
Rikolto together with 19 organisations of the cocoa value chain in Peru are part of this commitment, including the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (MIDAGRI), ACOPAGRO, Amazonas Trading Peru, APPCACAO, the Association of Exporters (ADEX), the Peruvian Chamber of Coffee and Cocoa, Colpa de Loros, Cooperativa Agraria Allima Cacao Ltda, Kaoka, ROMEX, Alianza Bioversity - CIAT, Alianza Cacao Peru, Climate Focus, Earth Innovation Institute, Earthworm Foundation, Lutheran World Relief, MDA - GCF TF, Rainforest Alliance, Solidaridad and Rainforest Alliance. Learn more about what we will do together
"For cocoa producers, we believe it (the agreement) is in line with the global context, which is happening in the sector and especially with the organic production standards and sustainable production standards. I believe that all of us who work in the chain are committed to the development of the sector, without causing damage to the environment and especially deforestation. But we are also aware that this new regulation means a series of challenges for countries, institutions and especially producers". Anaximandro Rojas, President of the Small Cocoa Producers' Association APPCACAO
"The public sector is also committed to joining this initiative (the agreement). Proof of this is that in this planning process for the development of the cocoa and chocolate value chains, the commitment to deforestation-free cocoa has been considered in the framework of the Cocoa, Forests and Diversity Agreement, which is already part of the National Action Plan for Cocoa and Chocolate Development". Augusto Aponte, Regional Director for Agriculture and Agroecology, Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation
"The sector will support producers in strengthening methodologies and protocols to improve and demonstrate to their clients that cocoa beans come from deforestation-free production systems. Equally important is to work together to establish incentivising policies for producers to adopt these good practices." Teófilo Beingolea, Rikolto project coordinator in Peru