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Sucden establishes Forests Protection Policy for the cocoa supply chain

Building on its work to address sustainability risks and opportunities across its supply chain, Sucden is pleased to announce a Forests Protection Policy applicable to its cocoa sourcing. A plan to implement the Policy, along with clear targets and timelines, will be completed by the end of September 2019.

The Policy underlines Sucden’s commitment to:

  • Prevent deforestation in the global cocoa supply chain with an initial implementation focus on high risk sourcing origins, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
  • Achieve traceability in the direct supply chain to better understand the origin of its cocoa and to prevent future cocoa sourcing from contributing to deforestation.
  • Contribute to the rehabilitation and conservation of degraded landscapes through direct interventions, multi-stakeholder collaboration and involvement in landscape programs. This will include agroforestry activities.

As part of the Policy, a clear priority will be to accelerate Sucden’s farm mapping program and to trace farmer deliveries to the first point of purchase, which to date has focused on farmers involved in its sustainable programs.

By the end of 2019, the business expects to have mapped 30,000 farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. Under its new commitment, mapping will be extended to farms in the direct supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana using deforestation risk assessments to guide those efforts.

In addition, Sucden is formalizing its commitment to work with key external stakeholders in support of broader landscape conservation and rehabilitation goals. In Côte d’Ivoire, collaboration with agroforestry experts and customers is already underway to develop pilot project opportunities for community and farm interventions within critical landscapes.

A community consultation approach will be adopted enabling Sucden and its partners to build sustainable livelihoods strategies at the local level. This work will be scaled up over time, pending outcomes from those pilots.

Furthermore, addressing the root causes of deforestation to prevent further encroachment into the forest requires working with farmers to improve their livelihoods and optimize their farms. Through its sustainable programs, Sucden is currently supporting farmers to increase their cocoa yields. Farmers are being trained on good agricultural practices as well as farm and income diversification.

As of 2018, over 20,000 farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria had been trained on best practices, pruning and soil fertility management. Opportunities to expand the reach of these programs will be assessed as part of the implementation plan development phase.

Paul Davis, Head of Cocoa, commented:

‘In addition to our ongoing sustainable program work, Sucden has been building its understanding of deforestation risks and drivers in the cocoa supply chain. This Policy is a result of that ongoing work and sets out our high level and long term commitment to address those risks.

Over the next three months we will develop an implementation plan detailing how, where and by when this Policy will be implemented.

Our long term priority is to support our partners at origin whilst continuing to build our ability to deliver sustainably sourced cocoa in which our clients and the cocoa market as a whole can have the upmost confidence that it responsibly supports all components and aspects of the cocoa trade’.

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