Top chocolate makers agree to stop deforestation in West Africa for cocoa | GBRI

Big names in the chocolate and cocoa industry like Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Godiva, Hershey, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé etc. have signed the “Frameworks for Action” announced by Ivory Coast and Ghana, world’s top two cocoa-producing countries. Under new frameworks, the two West African countries committed to end the massive deforestation for cocoa going on inside their borders.

The aim is to not only halt the clearing of forests for cocoa production, but to restore forest areas that have already been cleared or degraded. The action plans also include commitments to developing alternative livelihoods and crop diversification strategies for cocoa farmers who will be impacted by the conservation plans.

“Less than 4% of Ivory Coast remains densely forested, and the chocolate companies’ laissez-faire approach to sourcing has driven extensive deforestation in Ghana as well,” Mighty Earth reported. Aside from destroying habitat relied on by wildlife, this deforestation has also pushed protected species like chimpanzees, elephants, leopards and pygmy hippos into increasingly smaller forest fragments, where they are far easier to hunt and thus more likely to be killed by poachers.

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