The cocoa value chain is complex and comprises many links. Small cocoa farms in West Africa produce close to 70% of the world’s cocoa The cocoa comes from cocoa farmers in Ghana, the Ivory Coast and other countries, before being shipped to Orkla factories via processing companies in Africa or Europe.
The cocoa sector in West Africa, particularly the Ivory Coast, faces serious challenges in the form of poverty, low productivity, human rights violations and environmental degradation. While global consumption of chocolate has increased over the years, cocoa production is declining due to small crops, lack of farming expertise, pests and disease. Serious issues such as child labour, deforestation and soil impoverishment are linked to underlying causes such as poverty, low prices, inadequate infrastructure and weak supervisory authorities.
We at Orkla are committed to reducing the risk of child labour and to helping to improve the earning potential and living conditions of cocoa farmers. Certification is still fundamental to our efforts to ensure this.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified programme (formerly UTZ) has adopted a coherent approach to the cocoa sector. Certification safeguards human rights, improves agricultural practices, reduces deforestation and ensures better conditions for cocoa farmers. The Rainforest Alliance also has good processes for monitoring and following up on compliance with requirements. More than 80 per cent of the cocoa we use is certified.
We want to establish better traceability procedures, as they among other things will help to ensure deforestation-free value chains and good conditions for farmers. By tracing cocoa back to a cooperative, we can gain a better overall picture of the physical cocoa value chain.