A new report published by Mighty Earth, an environmental advocacy organization, reveals a massive amount of deforestation caused to produce cocoa. This comes on the heels of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI), which was a collaboration of the top cocoa companies and countries to end deforestation, ban creating new cocoa farms and restore the habit.
The study, however, shows a completely different story. Both the governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire joined the CFI in 2017. In 2019, CFI released its action plans. Since then, Sweet Nothings–the appropriately named report from Mighty Earth—has discovered that between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, “an area the size of the cities of Madrid, Seoul, or Chicago” has been destroyed.
“This report unwraps the unsavory side of the cocoa industry and shows the urgent need to break the link between chocolate products and deforestation,” said Glenn Hurowitz, CEO of Mighty Earth.
Both countries have lost a vast majority of their forested area to make room for these farms. Mighty Earth has discovered that deforestation even occurred in protected areas where endangered wildlife live.
The report recommends companies and governments combine their data regarding cocoa supply chains, use satellite imagery to monitor the situation, and source cocoa from agroforestry, among other things.
“Chocolate companies like Nestlé, Hershey’s, Mondelez, and Mars need to stop making empty promises and start working together with governments in the CFI to establish an open and effective joint deforestation monitoring mechanism this year,” stated Hurowitz.
Hopefully, the companies and governments will listen to these recommendations and start living up to their promises.
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