The members of the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO) aim at promoting sustainable cocoa production through joint activities in the producing areas and a more intense exchange on existing experiences. Therefore GISCO defined what sustainable cocoa means.

The multi-stakeholder initiative pursues these objectives:

Furthermore, the GICSO members are committed to support the work of the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa through twelve specific goals. They comprise both social and ecological matters as well as the joint pursuit of aligned goals. Also, the GISCO members are committed to increase the share of cocoa sourced from certified farms in their own chocolate products.

12 specific goals of GISCO members

GISCO members commit to the work of the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa at all levels. The members advocate for:

1.  improved farm-gate prices, minimum price and premium systems as well as other income-generating measures as contributions to a living income(1) of cocoa farming households.

2.  improving the productivity of cocoa cultivation and the quality of cocoa.

3.  supporting governments and other stakeholders in the development of holistic regional agricultural programs in order to create alternatives to cocoa cultivation and thus counteract overproduction.

4.  promoting the development and use of sustainable and diversified production systems, in particular agroforestry systems, which conserve natural resources as well as ending the application of hazardous(2) and/or unauthorized pesticides.

5.  ending deforestation and contributing to conservation of forests and biodiversity, and to reforestation.

6.  the abolition of worst forms of child labor in cocoa production.

7.  the enhancement of gender equality and improvement of opportunities for women and young people in the cocoa sector.

8.  enforcing compliance with human rights (implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights) and environmental aspects by all actors in the cocoa supply chain and contributing to the discussion on possible regulatory measures at EU level.

9.  the strengthening of governments, farmer organizations and civil society in the cocoa value chain in the producing countries.

10.  the entire cocoa in cocoa-containing end products sold in Germany to come from sustainable cultivation in the long term.

11.  a share of at least 85 % of cocoa in cocoa-containing end products sold by the producing members in Germany to be certified by sustainability standards(3) or to be equivalently independently verified by the year 2025.

12.  promoting multi-stakeholder partnerships and collaboration for more sustainability, networking, sharing information and experience, learning from each other and reporting on progress in achieving objectives and applying best practices.


[1] Living income is “the net annual income required for a household in a particular place to afford a decent standard of living for all members of that household” (The Living Income Community of Practice, 2015).

[2] Hazardous pesticides include as minimum requirement all substances which (1) are listed as “persistent
organic pollutants (POPs)” in the Stockholm Convention within the Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention and/or the Montreal Protocol, (2) are classified by WHO as A1 or 1B, (3) are listed in the “Dirty Dozen” of PAN, or (4) are identified by UN-GHS as substances with “chronic toxicity”. In addition, specifically for cocoa cultivation, they include pesticides that are not permitted for use in export goods to EU countries. (Further definition as for agroforestry systems will be included within the KPIs.)

[3] Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance Certified, UTZ Certified

  • 12 specific goals of GISCO members

    by resolution at the Annual General Meeting 2019