On March 5th 2019, Nestlé laid out an action plan to help end deforestation and restore forests in its cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. This plan is part of the company’s commitment to support the Cocoa & Forests Initiative, a new public-private partnership bringing together the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and the cocoa and chocolate industry. On the same day, Nestlé also disclosed its cocoa suppliers to increase transparency.
Nestlé is fully committed to achieving deforestation-free commodities by 2020. The company is strengthening transparency and traceability in its supply chain and is already using a combination of tools, including certification, supply chain mapping and satellite imagery. The Nestlé Cocoa & Forests Action Plan, alongside the disclosure of Nestlé’s cocoa suppliers in Ghana and the Côte d'Ivoire, will accelerate the company’s journey to stop deforestation.
The Nestlé Cocoa & Forests Action Plan focuses on three pillars: forests protection and restoration; sustainable cocoa production and farmers’ livelihoods; and community engagement and social inclusion. It lays out a set of activities the company will implement over the next four years with an emphasis on the cooperatives members of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The Nestlé Cocoa Plan aims to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and the quality of their products.
Significant activities under the Nestlé Cocoa & Forests Action Plan include:
- Completion of the mapping of all 87,000 farms that are part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan and strengthening of cocoa beans traceability systems by 2019;
- Implementation of an exclusion process for farmers who grow cocoa in protected areas from Nestlé’s supply chain by 2020;
- Sensitisation of 38,000 farmers on forest law enforcement in place in both countries as well as the importance of protecting forests by 2022;
- Distribution and planting of 2,8 million shade trees by 2022;
- Carrying out two agroforestry pilots, a smart integration of trees into farming systems by 2022;
- Training 70,000 farmers on good agricultural practices, including deployment of advanced technology and agricultural methods to increase productivity (more cocoa on less land);
- Promotion of the financial inclusion of at least 8,700 farmers by supporting the creation of village savings and loans associations by 2022;
- Distribution of 5,000 improved cook stoves by 2021 to reduce pressure on forests and improve community’s health.
Nestlé will further strengthen its Cocoa & Forests Action Plan in the course of 2019 as the two governments are expected to establish boundary maps for the forests, to revise land use policies and regulations and to release forest and land use data.
Nestlé will also adapt the plan by taking into account the learnings from these pilot projects. The company will organise a number of consultations with the cocoa growing communities to ensure their active participation in implementing this action plan.