Report Voice, 2020
Rampant farmer poverty, extensive deforestation, human and labour rights violations including child labour, an over-dependency on pesticides; the challenges facing the cocoa sector remain as large as they have ever been. Two decades of interventions and increasing dialogue have not tackled the challenges at the necessary scale, and have failed to solve the root problem of cocoa farmer poverty. These voluntary and top-down efforts have not been able to address underlying problems such as structurally low cocoa prices, weak rural infrastructure, a lack of transparency and accountability, and sometimes corrupt and inefficient government interventions and policies.
Most challenges in the cocoa sector are systemic and require structural interventions at landscape, national, and global level. The core of the solution lies in the enabling environment; from a mandatory environmental and human rights due diligence regulation, through a solid and empowered position for smallholder farmers in global supply chains, to empowering farmers and local civil society to keep their governments accountable, supported by transparency, due diligence and accountability systems, and open monitoring and traceability of the sector.
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