Assessment Tool on the Criteria of Sustainability Programs and Standards for Cocoa
In a joint effort, the national Sustainable Cocoa platforms in Europe – the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO), the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa (SWISSCO) and the Belgian platform Beyond Chocolate – have commissioned T4SD to benchmark sustainability schemes (standards and corporate sustainability programs, developed by organizations and companies to promote sustainability along their supply chains’ operations related to cocoa and chocolate production), against the GISCO, SWISSCO and Beyond Chocolate sustainability objectives and the four common challenges (living income contribution, non-deforestation, ending child labour and forced labour and enhancement of transparency in the cocoa value chain) of the national initiatives for sustainable cocoa (ISCOs).
This exercise aims to contribute to a better understanding of how well companies and standard organizations are equipped to address the sustainability goals of the platforms and to identify gaps in policies and criteria regarding specific topics. This exercise is compliance based, so it will not show how topics are dealt with and to which degree they contribute to delivering impact on the ground. Additional studies and tools are going to be developed by the Sustainable Cocoa platforms in cooperation with research institutions to address sustainability impacts.
It is also important to note that the benchmark tool is an internal instrument for the Sustainable Cocoa platforms, since it aims to set the basis for the discussions on how to increase and/or better promote the efforts of their members towards a more sustainable cocoa sector.
In 2021, T4SD designed the Assessment Tool on the Criteria of Sustainability Programs and Standards for Cocoa, the user manual for this tool and collected the information of nine VSS and three chocolate companies. Next year, T4SD will continue with the collection of information of one more VSS and five more sustainability corporate programmes.
Also in 2022, the national Sustainable Cocoa initiatives in Europe and ITC are launching a task force that aims to analyse the results provided by the Assessment Tool on the Criteria of Sustainability Programs and Standards for Cocoa.U