Blommer Chocolate Company Action Plan
1. Bold Public-Private Action: The Cocoa & Forests Initiative
The governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and the world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies signed landmark agreements in November 2017 to end deforestation and promote forest restoration and protection in the cocoa supply chain.
This new public-private partnership – called the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) – has been organized by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), IDH - the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit (ISU). The Prince of Wales launched CFI in March 2017 in London.
The Frameworks for Action for Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana define core commitments, verifiable actions, and timebound targets required for a deforestation-free and forest-positive supply chain.
The Governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana play a critical leadership role in establishing the national strategy, enabling policy environment, and governance structure for CFI implementation. They ensure that CFI is linked to similar initiatives with other commodities, and fully aligned with the national REDD+ Strategy and other relevant national strategies and plans. They provide key operational guidance, and baseline economic, environmental, and social data, to help companies identify and plan the most effective and efficient private investment activities for CFI.
The Governments have prepared comprehensive national implementation plans (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana) that outline key public sector priorities, actions and timelines, following extensive consultation with all stakeholders. During the first year of CFI, the Governments have launched work on the key building blocks for successful CFI implementation, including important revisions to the legal framework for sustainable forest management, preparation of up-to-date boundary maps of protected areas, and collection of socio-economic and land use data for the priority investment areas.
Thirty-three companies*, accounting for about 85% of global cocoa usage, have now joined CFI. Each company has agreed to prepare a detailed individual action plan that spells out the specific actions it will take in 2018-2022 to deliver the commitments set out in the Framework. Each company will decide for itself how to best support the achievement of the Framework objectives, based on their role in the supply chain, their corporate strategic priorities, and their cocoa sustainability goals.
Almost all companies have now completed initial action plans. These initial plans will be updated and finalized in 2019 after the governments have completed the ongoing legal and operational policy changes, the mapping of protected areas, baseline data collection, and other building blocks needed for full investment programming**.
CFI has been supported by several global development partners, including the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the Global Environment Facility, and the Green Commodities Program of the United Nations Development Program.
CFI is coordinated closely with a wide range of global and local environmental organizations and partnerships, including the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, Amsterdam Declaration Partnership, Partnerships for Forests, the Rainforest Alliance, and World Resources Institute.
2. What are the Key Commitments in CFI?
The Frameworks are structed around three critical themes of (1) forest protection and restoration, (2) sustainable production and farmers’ livelihoods, and (3) community engagement and social inclusion.
The first priority is the protection and restoration of forests that have been degraded. To this end, the governments and companies have pledged no further conversion of forest land for cocoa production, and have committed to the phased elimination of illegal cocoa production and sourcing in protected areas.
Both countries are introducing a differentiated approach for improved management of forest reserves, based on the level of degradation of forests. Up-to-date maps on forest cover and land-use, socio-economic data on cocoa farmers, and detailed operational guidelines covering forest management and land-use are being developed and will be publicly disclosed.
To ensure effective implementation and monitoring of these commitments, companies have pledged to develop verifiable monitoring systems for traceability from farm to the first purchase point for their own purchases of cocoa, and to work with governments to ensure an effective national framework for traceability encompassing all traders in the supply chain.
The next critical priority is sustainable agricultural production and increased farmer incomes. These are essential pre-requisites for reducing pressure for agricultural encroachment into forests and strengthening the resilience of cocoa farmers to climate change.
The governments and companies have agreed to accelerate investment in long-term productivity of cocoa in order to grow “more cocoa on less land.” Key actions include: provision of improved planting materials, training in good agricultural practices, soil fertility, land tenure reform, and capacity building of farmers’ organizations. Sustainable livelihoods and income diversification for cocoa farmers will be accelerated through food crop diversification, agricultural inter-cropping, and development of mixed agro-forestry systems and shade-grown cocoa.
The final area of focus is strong community engagement and social inclusion, with a particular focus on women and youth. The governments and companies have committed to full and effective consultation and participation of cocoa farmers in the design and implementation of key actions, and promotion of community-based management models for forest protection and restoration. The governments will assess and mitigate the social impacts and risks of any proposed land-use changes on affected communities.
The set of public-private actions represent unprecedented commitments on forest protection and restoration, and sustainable cocoa production and farmer livelihoods. These combined actions, which are aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement, will play a crucial role in sequestering carbon stocks and thereby addressing global and local climate change.
3. Blommer’s Overall Vision for the Cocoa & Forests Initiative
Blommer recognizes that the cultivation of agricultural commodities, including cocoa, has been a driver of accelerated deforestation and forest degradation in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the world’s leading producers of cocoa. In response to this challenging problem, Blommer, working with other industry leaders and key development partners, helped to establish the Cocoa and Forests Initiative. Through this effort we have announced our commitment to end deforestation and forest degradation in our direct supply chains in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
Given the vital role that smallholder cocoa farming plays in providing for employment and income in local communities, efforts to end deforestation and forest degradation must be done in a socially acceptable manner. In all of our efforts, we understand the critical need for a balanced and comprehensive approach between farmers livelihoods and the environmental challenges.
Blommer’s vision for the end of deforestation and establishing reforestation efforts in our direct supply chains aligns with our broader sustainability goals of farm crop diversification which allows for supplemental household income, and improved nutrition for the family. It is through this lens that Blommer’s agroforestry and shade tree strategy will be developed to ensure that tree varieties introduced to cocoa farms are native and provide not only canopy development but direct benefit to the farm and/or the farming family. These benefits may include, but will not be limited to, improved soil fertility, medicinal uses and direct food sources. In this way, the farm family can realize some more immediate benefits of tree introduction and the overall strategy can provide solutions that avoid a vicious cycle of trees only planted for later timber harvesting.
With a clear and comprehensive approach which builds upon on long standing agroforestry activity and in alignment with our farmer partners, Blommer believes that success can been achieved where all stakeholders benefit.
4. Overview of Company Action Plan
|Commitments||Actions||To be delivered by 2022||Forest Protection & Restoration|
|There will be no further conversion of any forest land (as defined under national regulations and using methodologies such as High Carbon Stock (HCS) and High Conservation Value (HCV) approach) for cocoa production||Conduct farm mapping within direct supply chain to identify and collect cocoa farm boundaries polygon data to ensure cocoa is not being sourced from forest lands, National Parks and Reserves, and Classified Forests||3,000 farmers mapped within direct supply chain|
|Conduct deforestation risk assessments in all direct sourcing areas||# of hectares included in deforestation risk assessment: TBD|
|Signatory companies and Government commit to the elimination of all cocoa production and sourcing in National Parks and Reserves in line with the promulgation and enforcement of the prevailing national forest policy and the development of alternative livelihoods for affected farmers. A plan of action will be put in place by end-2018 to ensure fulfilment of this commitment.||All farms found in National Parks and Reserves will be reported to the Ministry of Water and Forests||% farms in Natl Parks & Reserves reported to government: TBD|
|Signatory companies commit to no sourcing of cocoa from National Parks and Reserves through their traceable direct sourcing programs, including farmer organizations and cooperatives, by 1 January 2018. A plan of action will be put in place by January 2018 to ensure fulfilment of this commitment.||Implement traceability tools/technology to ensure no cocoa purchases originate from National Parks or Reserves (all forest areas)||100% of direct sourced cocoa is traceable to farm-level|
|A differentiated approach based on the level of degradation of forests for the current Classified Forests will be developed by Government and translated into a national forest restoration strategy, by end-2018. The characteristics, the number of hectares, timeline, roles and responsibilities will be progressively specified in the land use plans.||Support the restoration of Classified Forests by working with cocoa farmers and partnering with SODEFOR and the forestry industry to implement contracts for mixed agroforestry as a restoration and livelihoods intervention||# farmer 'agroforestry restoration' contracts signed: TBD|
|# hectares restored in Classified Forests: TBD|
|Up-to-date maps on forest cover and land-use for the different forests, and socio-economic data on cocoa farmers and their communities who depend on these forests, will be developed and publicly disclosed by Government by 31 December 2018, and detailed operational guidelines by 30 June 2019, with input as relevant from the private sector, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders.||Support the government's forthcoming adaptive management plans for different forest areas to benefit the livelihoods of forest-dependent cocoa communities||Yes|
|Participate in the development and operation of land-use and land-use planning at national and regional levels by sharing existing land use maps with government||Yes|
|Public enforcement of the new Forest Code and its subsequent guidelines, and public sector governance will be strengthened, including, inter alia, awareness raising campaigns, capacity building of forest institutions, stronger surveillance and monitoring, and application of immediate sanctions for any new infringement, as of the date of promulgation of the new Forest Code but no later than June 2018.||Promote and participate in awareness-raising campaigns to educate farmers on the new Forest Code||600 farmers reached at awareness events|
|Update farmer engagement materials and training with the revised Forest Code||Yes|
|Public-private collaboration to mobilize more technical and financial resources for forest protection and restoration, including, inter alia, support for innovative financial mechanisms (the appropriate financing mechanisms will be defined in the operational document) to assure Payment of Environmental Services, alternative livelihoods for cocoa farmers affected by land-use changes, implementation of the current government contractualization approach, and development of mixed agro-forestry systems.||Mobilize finance for forest protection and restoration such as: new financing mechanisms (to be specified), contribution to conservation funds, development of payments for environmental services (PES) schemes||$ mobilized towards forest protection and restoration: TBD|
|# farmers participating in PES contracts TBD|
|Public-private collaboration to identify: good practices, technical guidance and incentive mechanisms for forest restoration, and mixed agro-forestry systems. The Government is developing management models for sustainable agro-forestry development, in consultation with all stakeholders.||Support distribution and planting of multi-purpose trees for on-farm restoration via mixed agroforestry||135,000 of multi-purpose trees distributed for on-farm planting|
|6,750 hectares cocoa agroforestry developed|
|Sustainable Production and Farmers' Livelihoods|
|Promote investment in long-term productivity of cocoa in environmentally suitable areas in order to grow “more cocoa on less land,” through provision of optimal planting materials, training in good agricultural practices, crop nutrition and soil fertility, crop protection, and development and capacity building of farmers’ organizations, are critical enabling factors for sustainable agriculture development.||Distribute improved cocoa planting material||# improved seedlings distributed to farmers: TBD|
|Establish and/or provide cocoa nurseries with improved cocoa planting material||# of nurseries with improved cocoa seedlings: TBD|
|Train farmers and producer organizations in the latest Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs)||3,000 of farmers trained in GAPs|
|Support cocoa farm rehabilitation||# of hectares of cocoa rehabilitated: TBD|
|Promote sustainable livelihoods and income diversification for cocoa farmers, including through food crop diversification, agricultural inter-cropping, development of mixed agro-forestry systems and shade-grown cocoa, and other income generating activities designed to boost and diversify household income.||Promote farm-level crop diversification||300 farmers applying crop diversification|
|Support distribution and planting of multi-purpose trees for on-farm restoration via agroforestry||135,000 multi-purpose trees distributed for on-farm planting|
|Promote financial inclusion and innovation to deepen farmers’ access to working capital and investment funds for production and farm renovation||Promote farmer savings||300 farmers participating in VSLA groups|
|Improve supply chain mapping, with the goal of 100% of cocoa sourcing traceable from farm to first purchase point. The private sector, in collaboration with the Government, will develop an action plan for traceability with clear timelines, which will be implemented step-by-step to achieve full traceability and verification, applicable to all by end-2019.||Conduct farm mapping within direct supply chain to identify and collect cocoa farm boundaries to ensure cocoa is not being sourced from forest lands, National Parks and Reserves, and Classified Forests||3,000 farmers mapped within direct supply chain|
|Implement traceability system to farm level in direct supply chain||100% of direct sourced cocoa traceable from individual farms to first purchase point|
|Social Inclusion and Community Engagement|
|Full and effective information sharing, consultation, and informed participation of cocoa farmers and their communities who are affected by proposed land-use changes under the Framework.||Organize cocoa community consultations on the implementation of the Frameworks for Action||7 communities with consultation sessions|
|Development of action plans for forest protection and restoration, and sustainable agricultural intensification that are gender and youth sensitive.||Develop forest protection & restoration and agriculture intensification action plans that are youth and gender sensitive||7 cocoa communities with gender-focused programs|