Cocoa & Forests Initiative

The governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and 36 leading cocoa and chocolate companies have joined together in the Cocoa & Forests Initiative to end deforestation and restore forest areas. In Colombia, the government and the largest local cocoa and chocolate companies signed the Cocoa, Forest & Peace Initiative to eliminate cocoa-related deforestation.

The governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and 36 leading cocoa and chocolate companies have joined together in the Cocoa & Forests Initiative to end deforestation and restore forest areas. This collective effort has reported on the first two years of implementation in advance of the 2020 UN Day of Biodiversity. In 2018 and 2019, companies have notably increased traceability in their direct supply chains with farm mapping, put in place systems to eliminate deforestation from their cocoa sourcing, and distributed trees to increase canopy cover and sustainable production with cocoa agroforestry. Read the report.

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1 million farmers in good agricultural practices
4 million multi-purpose trees distributed to farmers for agroforestry
1 million farms mapped

At the November 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP23), top cocoa-producing countries Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana with leading chocolate and cocoa companies announced far-reaching Cocoa & Forests Initiative Frameworks for Action. Central to the Frameworks is a commitment to no further conversion of any forest land for cocoa production.

In March 2019, another milestone was reached to strengthen transparency and accountability in the cocoa supply chain: the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and Cocoa & Forests Initiative companies released action plans that spell out concrete steps to end cocoa-related deforestation. The action plans focus on:

  1.  forest protection and restoration,
  2. sustainable cocoa production and farmers’ livelihoods, and
  3. community engagement and social inclusion.

These combined actions will play a crucial role in sequestering carbon stocks in West African forests and addressing global and local climate change, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

The Cocoa & Forests Initiative companies and governments have begun to implement key actions on the ground to halt deforestation in the most ecologically important and environmentally sensitive areas. Significant steps include:

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Featured Expert Ethan Budiansky

Director of Environment
World Cocoa Foundation


Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate Company(1), Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate, Cémoi(1), Chocolats Halba (2), Cocoanect, Cococo Chocolatiers, ECOM Group(2), Fazer, Ferrero, GCB Cocoa(1), General Mills Inc., Godiva Chocolatier Inc., Guittard Chocolate Company, The Hershey Company, Indcresa(2), JB Foods(1), Kuapa Kokoo(2), Lindt & Sprüngli Group, Marks & Spencer Food, Mars Wrigley, Meiji Co. Ltd.(2), Mondelēz, Nestlé, Olam Cocoa, PBC Limited(2), Sainsbury’s, SIAT(1), Sucden, Tesco, Toms Group(2), Touton, Unilever(1), UPL, Valrhona, J.H. Whittaker & Sons(2) (1) Côte d’Ivoire only (2) Ghana only.

Key Partners

IDH - The Sustainable Trade Initiative, United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Global Environment Facility, Green Commodities Program of United Nations Development Program, Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, Partnerships for Forests, World Resources Institute, Rainforest Alliance, Amsterdam Declaration Partnership, German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa

Colombia: the Cocoa, Forests & Peace Initiative

On July 17, 2018, Colombia became the first country from Latin America to join Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire on signing on to the principles of the Initiative. Through the ‘Cocoa, Forests and Peace Initiative’, the Government of Colombia—along with its largest cocoa company, Casa Luker, and the National Cocoa Federation—is now committed to eliminate deforestation from the country’s cocoa supply chain by 2020. The commitment will be supported by the World Resources Institute and IDH-the Sustainable Trade Initiative.

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  • Plan de Acción Cacao, Bosques & Paz
  • Colombia Cocoa, Forests, and Peace Initiative Joint Framework for Action

Companies and governments are stepping up – we call on development partners and civil society organizations to join us and support long-term solutions for sustainable cocoa production and forest management.

Alain-Richard Donwahi Côte d’Ivoire Minister of Water and Forests

Cocoa & Forests Initiative Achievements 2018-2019

Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) signatories released reports of their progress from 2018-2019 towards ending deforestation and restoring forest areas of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Watch this video for the highlights.