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Olam details new cocoa sustainability goals by 2030

Olam Cocoa has outlined its new commitment to living incomes for farmers, a child labour free supply chain and greater forest protection by 2030.

Olam Cocoa’s new sustainability ambition for the future of the cocoa sector named Cocoa Compass, aims to support the creation of an “environmentally positive, professionalised and quality focused cocoa supply chain comprising farmers earning a living income and whose children have access to education”, it said.

Olam detailed the new project at last month’s World Cocoa Foundation event in Berlin, where sustainability and the Living Income Differential (LID) for west African farmers were key topics. Olam showed its support for the proposed policy led by Ghana and Ivory Coast.

“We have a shared belief to increase prices paid to cocoa farmers and have participated in purchases that contain the LID,” said CEO of Olam Cocoa, Gerard A. Manley at the event.

Cocoa Compass will target areas for action under the three pillars of Focused on Farmers, Empowered to Grow and Investing in Nature.

Aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and with milestones for action in 2020 and 2024, Cocoa Compass sets concrete goals for 2030 across the company’s global, direct cocoa supply chain, it added.

The goals will address living incomes for farmers, child labour, education, deforestation, and the environment:

  • Improve cocoa farmer livelihoods and enable 150,000 cocoa farmers to achieve a defined living income level, not just lift them out of poverty (the extreme poverty line for an average cocoa growing family in Côte d’Ivoire is USDD2,300 per year and the living income line is USDD7,300 per year)

  • Eliminate child labour

  • Ensure all children of cocoa farmers have access to education

  • Protect forests through a net increase in tree carbon stock

  • Mitigate environmental impact through a 30% reduction in Natural Capital costs

“For over a decade with our customers and partners, we have been present on the ground, supporting cocoa communities around the world to improve their livelihoods and protect forests, while also providing a stable route to market for farmers through in-country cocoa processing,” added Manley.

“With our living income goal, we are focusing our efforts on supporting the farmers we believe can be the backbone of a sustainable cocoa supply chain, while continuing to provide holistic support to all cocoa farmers in our sustainability programmes. We know there is still more to do which is why we are challenging ourselves, and the industry, to have an even greater positive impact on the future of cocoa.”

Cocoa Compass builds on Olam Cocoa’s 15 years of sustainability progress, having already achieved 100% traceability of its sustainable supply chain in Ivory Coast and Ghana under its 2020 traceability commitment and its pledge to combat deforestation as part of its Cocoa & Forests Initiative action plans.

“Transparency and traceability are core to Cocoa Compass,” Andrew Brooks, Head of Cocoa Sustainability added.

“We remain focused on leveraging social and environmental insights to refine our sustainability programmes to meet the needs of farmers and their communities.”

The company will publish an annual Cocoa Compass Impact Report to share data collection methodology and update on progress against its goals.

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