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The chocolate that is eaten in Africa

The NGO Mighty Earth denounces the illegal exploitation and systematic protected areas in Ghana and Ivory Coast by the powerful cocoa industry

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The chocolate that is eaten in Africa

The NGO Mighty Earth denounces illegal exploitation and systematic protected areas in Ghana and Ivory Coast by powerful cocoa industry

The forests, dense tropical forest of Ivory Coast and its tenants, animals are disappearing at a great speed and, according to NGO Mighty Earth, main reason is that y are eating fields of cocoa farming. The american organization, which has carried out a research on deforestation in main cocoa producer in world, Ivory Coast and its neighbour Ghana, denounces not only serious environmental consequences in stripes authorized, but also illegal farming in protected areas, which involved large multinationals of sector.

“most of The national parks and protected areas of Ivory Coast have been totally or almost totally cleared and replaced by crops of cocoa,” says report, dark secret of chocolate, published this Wednesday by NGO, which points to chocolate industry as main engine behind deforestation.


  • Chocolates with ecosystem itself
  • deforestation that ends up on your plate continues

“For years, main companies and drink makers in world have been buying cocoa of protected areas”, according to investigation, who accuses you as liable to giants of industry: Olam, Cargill and Barry Callebaut. These three multinationals of agroindustriacontrolan almost half of global market for cocoa, which is a multi-million dollar business and continues to grow. Mighty Earth claims to have found merchants of three companies buying in illegal crops of protected areas. These three stamps sold after companies that market m, such as Mars, Ferrero, Mondelez, or Hershey.

A family of peasants gars fruits of cocoa in one of thousands of fields in region ivorian of Dahiri, in December of 2010. G. P

landscape of The south and west of Ivory Coast is dominated by small tree in americas and, at time of collection, for ir yellow fruits. The economy of country depends on cocoa – whose crops represent 40% of world total-. The chain of production begins in those fields, grown by almost a million small farmers, but cocoa sector affects a quarter of population, already some 6 million ivorians depend directly or indirectly on this product to survive.

The 70% of world's cocoa is produced in Africa, in a belt that starts at Sierra Leone and extends to Cameroons, but bulk is concentrated in Ivory Coast, where re is only a 4% of its territory covered by tropical rainforest. Since sixties his jungle has been reduced to 80% and disappear completely, along with its animal species, if measures are not taken. In 13 of 23 protected areas in country, has completely disappeared population of primates, and elephants, which are emblem of nation, are in danger of extinction after seeing its population reduced between 200 and 400.

In 2015, bittersweet business of cocoa moved an estimated 85,000 million euros, and demand grows by between 2% and 5% per year. Nearly 3 million tons of chocolate and products from cocoa consumed in world each year. The demand increases, deforestation also.

The sector of ivorian cocoa became a dark business surrounded by corruption since privatization in 1999. During civil war, accused two fronts to be financed with benefits of cocoa. Since 2012, peace, Government has attempted to organize and consolidate sector.

The International Cocoa Organization—which brings toger countries and companies, producers, and consumers—recently moved its headquarters from London to Abidjan, economic capital of Ivory Coast with “goal of furring needs of producers.”

Mighty Earth denounces unsustainable model of cocoa industry” and alert that is being exported to or countries and continents. The Democratic Republic of Congo is new focus on Africa, while Indonesia and Peru are in Asia and America. To halt and repair this damage, NGO appeals to responsibility of both large multinationals such as ivorian Government, which, despite having organizations dedicated to protection of forests, are failing in that task. Or Office Ivorian Parks and Reserves, or agency Sodefor have been able to shield its reserves.

From companies listed recognizes problem, although proposals of solution are still vague. The report shows a “reality”, but “takes time” to put in place measures to remedy se practices, supported Christiaan Prins, head of External Relations Barry Calleabut, in a telephone conversation. According to Prins, company is working with Ngos and Government to curb cultivation in areas that are protected.

Farmers working in grain of cocoa. Mighty Earth 2017

Cargill and Olam have reacted both with a press release. Cargill, which refers to its program, Promise of Cocoa, says that “y are working to ensure sustainability of chain, increasing processes of certification”. Olam responds that deforestation is “at heart of our sustainability programs around world”, acknowledges problem and says that this is why y are co-founders of Initiative, Coca and Forest, which encompasses 34 companies and that, toger with Governments of Ivory Coast and Ghana will present a detailed plan of action for next month of November. However, it accepts that “re is not a rapid response.”

while companies have spent years talking about ir commitments with producers, rights of workers and environmental impact, promises are not translated into practice. Migthy Earth insists on urgent need to “adopt and execute detailed plans”. The rapidity of measures has to overcome pace of deforestation.


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