German retailer Edeka is launching a cocoa programme, Cocoa For Future, in an attempt to address various ecological and social challenges in cocoa production.
The programme aims to make cocoa cultivation more sustainable and climate-resistant, protect biodiversity, and improve the living conditions of small farmers and their families.
'Cocoa For Future'
Supported by partners, Edeka is initially involving one of the largest cocoa cooperatives in Ghana in the programme.
Rolf Lange, head of corporate communications and public affairs, Edeka."Edeka is continuously expanding the range of more sustainable products. With initiatives such as 'Cocoa for Future', we are consistently driving forward sustainability in the supply chains."
The programme will focus on the promotion of agroforestry cultivation among local smallholders, who mostly only cultivate small areas in monoculture.
However, the soil quality suffers as a result of monoculture, and new soils have to be cleared, often even intact forests.
With the agroforestry concept, not only cocoa trees but also other shady plants will be integrated into the areas, thus reducing monoculture.
The variety of planting ensures better yields and promotes biodiversity, creating a positive effect on the environment.
As part of the Cocoa For Future' programme, the retailer is working with the Kruger Group as a supplier and project partner, as well as the Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA).
CAA is active in all cocoa-producing regions of Ghana with around 8,100 small farmers, of whom 400 are initially taking part in the programme.
Another goal of the project is to counteract possible child labour in cocoa cultivation in the region, the retailed added.
Together with CAA the retailer will identify and analyse the risks of child labour in a multi-stage process.
It will also develop and implement individually tailored preventive and remedial measures in association with the farmers.
The retailer wants to make the supply chain more transparent by bringing together aspects such as traceability, deforestation, and mapping.