On February 18, 2022, the Heads of State of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire met with the President of the European Parliament and communicated their interests about the gamble of increasing poverty among cocoa farmers in the two nations, if the current proposed Deforestation legislation is adopted as it is without considering the adverse impact it will have on the income of the many smallholder farmers.
The two Heads of State repeated their obligation to sustainability and improving on the living conditions of cocoa farmers:
- Recognize that the worst forms of child labour and deforestation are linked to the living conditions of cocoa farmers, and strive to address the challenges that will help to overcome the root causes of this situation;
- Commit to ensuring the safety of their children and to continuing their efforts to combat the worst forms of child labour in accordance with International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 182;
- Commit themselves to protect the environment by fighting deforestation and investing in the restoration of forests loss to cocoa production;
- Request that the producer’s income and therefore the price of cocoa be considered as the determining factor of sustainability. Thus, the two Heads of State invite the European Union, consumers and the various actors of the cocoa sector to strengthen and consolidate the Living Income Differential (LID) mechanism jointly initiated by our two countries and welcomed by the industry.
- To this end, the two Heads of State today call on the European Union to join them in agreeing on an Economic Pact for Sustainable Cocoa in order to balance the three pillars of sustainable development (Economic – Social and Environmental).
- The two Heads of State welcome the prospects of a partnership with the European Union, for a sustainable cocoa value chain and to avoid poverty being associated with cocoa farming in an already volatile security environment in the sub-region.