Stakeholders in cocoa value chain urged to promote best practices
STAKEHOLDERS in the cocoa value chain have been advised to collaborate to help operationalise the standards set by the European Union Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (EU CS3D) to promote responsible business practices in the cocoa value chain.
The stakeholders, including representatives from producer groups, licensed buying companies, COCOBOD, government ministries, NGOs, and development partners, also believe that this will help to position Ghana strategically in its quest to boost its export potential.
The European Parliament approved a new directive (EU CS3D) to hold companies accountable for conducting sustainability due diligence in their supply chains.
Under this, businesses will have to establish systems to identify, prevent and mitigate environmental and social risks.
Since the proposal for Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CS3D) was published in February 2022, attention has turned to how value chain actors and stakeholders will operationalise its requirements.
Against this background, the COCOBOD is working closely with the International Trade Centre’s Alliances for Action sustainable agribusiness initiative to lead discussions on implementing mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence in Ghana's cocoa sector.
Collaborative efforts, including organising training, conducting readiness assessments and gathering feedback for the development of a comprehensive action plan have been put in place.
Speaking at a stakeholder workshop in Accra on the upcoming European Union Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (EU CS3D) readiness in Ghana’s cocoa sector, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Jeroen Verheul, said “cocoa is a very important product in the trade between Netherlands and Ghana, and the EU regulations we are discussing here have a strong impact on the way we trade cocoa.
What we want to achieve with this workshop is to enhance collaborations between all stakeholders in the cocoa value chain.”
The workshop was organised by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in partnership with Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), the European Union (EU), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and ISEAL on the theme “Ghana’s Experience, Preparation and Challenges Towards Meeting the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CS3D).”
It also draws on extensive support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF V) programme, in the framework of which ITC is running pilot programmes on EU CS3D accompanying measures for producers and processors.
The workshop sought to raise awareness of CS3D, share lessons learned from the pilot programmes, discuss challenges and opportunities, and develop a roadmap for CS3D readiness in Ghana’s cocoa sector.
The Deputy Chief Executive of Agronomy and Control, Dr Ebenezer Owusu, mentioned illegal mining as a major challenge militating against the project, adding that some farmers are still being lured by illegal mining agents to trade their farmlands for some amount of money.
According to the National Coordinator for Alliance for Action Programmes at ITC, Larry Attipoe, the move will help farmers export their produce through the channels of the European Union.
“The project is to ensure that the value chain has the information. Secondly, we start to prepare by asking how we ensure we are complying with human rights regulations and also ensure that we are respecting the environment in our value chain,” he said.