Beyond Chocolate: 100 % sustainable Belgian chocolate and a living income for all cocoa producers
On 5 December, the day before local ‘Sinterklaas’ visits children with toys and chocolate figurines, representatives of Belgium’s chocolate industry, retail sector and civil society signed the Beyond Chocolate partnership targeting 100 % sustainable Belgian chocolate by 2025 and a living income for all cocoa producers by 2030. Also Enabel signed the partnership, committing the Trade for Development Centre (TDC) to the initiative.
Deforestation, child labour and a living income
Beyond Chocolate is an initiative of Belgium’s Minister of Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo. All signatories commit themselves to working together on a whole range of challenges in the field of sustainable chocolate, such as combating deforestation, tackling child labour and ensuring a living income for local cocoa producers.
In concrete terms, this means that all Belgian chocolate produced or traded in Belgium meets a relevant certification standard or is produced with cocoa products from company-specific sustainability programmes by the end of 2025 at the latest. The agreements between governments and private partners that fall under the Cocoa & Forests Initiative must also be fully respected by the end of 2025 at the latest. This mainly concerns ending deforestation in the two largest cocoa producing countries, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Deforestation as a result of cocoa production for the Belgian chocolate sector must end by 2030. By then, all cocoa producers must earn at least a living income.
In addition to the Choprabisco sector federation, retail chains Delhaize, Aldi, Lidl, Carrefour and Colruyt Group also committed themselves for their own brands. Also Belgian universities and governmental and non-governmental organisations support the new partnership. Also Enabel now is a Beyond Chocolate partner.
The TDC coaches producers and informs consumers
The Trade for Development Centre, which falls under Enabel, specifically commits to support 10 to 15 micro-, small and medium enterprises of producers organisations from Ghana or Côte d’Ivoire that actively promote fair and sustainable cocoa trade. They will receive marketing and business management coaching. Furthermore, the TDC will inform Belgian consumers through its awareness-raising campaigns, such as the Fair Trade Week, about steps taken and progress made towards achieving 100 % sustainable Belgian chocolate.