Cocoa Coalition Sends Reminder To EU To Act Tough On Upcoming Legislation
A unique coalition of chocolate companies, NGOs, certification organizations and multi-stakeholder organizations presented their vision for future EU legislation affecting the cocoa sector by issuing renewed proposals for the key characteristics it needs. ‘she hopes to see included in future EU law on due diligence and deforestation in the cocoa industry.
In a statement, he said: “We, a group of companies (Ferrero, Mars Wrigley, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Tony’s Chocolonely), certification bodies (Fairtrade International, Rainforest Alliance), NGOs (Fair Trade Advocacy Office, VOICE Network) and multi-stakeholder organizations ( International Cocoa Initiative), today publish our proposals … which are consistent with the position we announced in 2019“
The coalition said it believed the introduction of mandatory EU-wide due diligence legislation could have a positive impact on the necessary transformation of the cocoa and chocolate sector.
“We welcome the two processes currently underway within the European Commission to introduce legislative proposals on due diligence.
“We support the introduction of a general obligation for companies to exercise human rights and environmental due diligence in all of their operations and supply chains, and hope that this will be included in the legislative initiative on sustainable corporate governance, including business due diligence, led by DG Justice & Consumers. “
The coalition said it calls for any legislation requiring companies to work with their suppliers and supply chain partners, especially in producing countries, to identify, address and report risks in their supply chains rather than to abandon or avoid sources of cocoa.
In addition, the criteria underlying the due diligence obligation should aim to ensure respect for human and labor rights, land and access rights, the laws of the producing country and environmental sustainability. “This includes the explicit respect for the right to an adequate standard of living as a fundamental human right: a “living income”, to be understood as a precondition for access to other human rights.“He said in the statement.
“We also call on DG Environment to present proposals for due diligence legislation to minimize the risk of deforestation associated with cocoa products placed on the EU market, and to extend it to the EU market. forest degradation and damage to ecosystems.
“Both pieces of legislation should be implemented as uniformly as possible across the EU, avoiding a patchwork of different approaches from Member States, and should cover companies regardless of their size – this is fundamental in the cocoa and chocolate sector to avoid distortions and maximize impact, given its fragmentation.
The coalition also reiterates that any future legislation should be enforced by government agencies with sufficient powers and resources, and “contain dissuasive sanctions and access to remedies, including civil liability provisions, in order to contribute to real change in the sector“.
He also wants the European Commission to continue setting up bilateral partnership agreements between the EU and cocoa-producing countries – described in its joint position paper on partnerships.
- The Coalition’s Joint Position Paper on Due Diligence Legislation is available here.