In a hearing at the European Parliament, MEPs and NGOs urged the European Union to regulate to stem deforestation in the cocoa industry after the failure of voluntary measures, according to Reuters.
Private sector initiatives have so far failed to end the use of child labour in cocoa plantations in West Africa, as well as deforestation, according to testimony at the hearing on Wednesday, 11th July.
Ivory Coast and Ghana, the leading exporters of cocoa, have lost the majority of their forest cover, with cocoa production a key driver. Ivory Coast estimates some 40 percent of its cocoa comes from protected areas.
NGOs and MEPs at the hearing demanded that the EU set mandatory standards, possibly including due diligence legislation forcing companies to identify child labor and deforestation within their supply chains.
“Voluntary compliance has not led to the impact that we were hoping to see,” said Obed Owusu-Addai, founding member of the EcoGhana association.
Read the full story on Reuters here.