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
Read the full story on Reuters here.