Making Chocolate Environmentally Friendly: World Cocoa Foundation Works to Advance Biodiversity in the Cocoa Sector
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 4, 2013) – The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) has been awarded a grant from the Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Program (BACP) of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to develop biodiversity indicators and strengthen associated data collection methodologies. Indicators serve as a gauge of the health of the sector’s sustainability efforts. The grant will support biodiversity indicators in the cocoa sector through WCF’s CocoaMAP initiative.
“Supporting biodiversity in cocoa production has long been a core value of WCF. WCF farmer training programs already incorporate good agricultural practices that foster environmental stewardship and biodiversity on cocoa farms. With a commonly agreed upon set of biodiversity indicators, we will be able to meaningfully measure environmental benefits across the sector,” said Bill Guyton, WCF president.
The biodiversity indicators will reflect the need for more environmentally friendly and sustainable cocoa production in the world’s leading cocoa producing countries. Potential indicators to be examined will include: number of native tree species under shade canopy, number of hectares of native vegetation on cocoa farms, and the average shade canopy density in cocoa fields. CocoaMAP will also develop methodology for collecting biodiversity data through monitoring and evaluation systems of existing interventions in cocoa-growing regions.
All indicators and data collection methodologies, as well as pilot results, will be shared publicly, so as to better inform the development and decision-making of future programs and policies in the cocoa sector.
Cocoa Measurement and Progress (CocoaMAP), a subscription-based website developed by the World Cocoa Foundation, compiles and reports existing information for the purpose of tracking the global effort to achieve sustainability in cocoa production. CocoaMAP’s “Planet” indicators focus on environmental stewardship, conservation, and biodiversity at the farm level.
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership foundation that promotes a sustainable cocoa economy by providing cocoa farmers with the tools they need to grow more and better cocoa, market it successfully, and make greater profits. WCF’s membership includes cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80% of the global cocoa market. For more information, visit www.worldcocoa.org.