We would like to express our sincere thanks to over 200 participants - including cocoa farmers, representatives of civil society and the private sector - who we welcomed to the first ISCOnference on 1 September 2022 in Brussels and online!
The conference provided a platform for members of the National Initiatives for Sustainable Cocoa in Europe (ISCOs) and their guests to exchange ideas and learn more about the various challenges and solutions in the cocoa sector. The event focused on Living Income, as poverty in the cocoa sector is considered a major cause of social and environmental challenges.
Alex Assanvo, Executive Secretary of the Cacao Côte d'Ivoire-Ghana Initiative (ICCIG), emphasised in the opening panel that more importance must be given to the economic side of sustainability. With rising production costs for farmers, simple and smart solutions must be found that lead to better prices and higher incomes for cocoa farmers. From the members of the ISCOs representing the European market, he expects a strong commitment to the Living Income Differential (LID) and a willingness to share wealth along the value chain. Abubakar Afful (Programme Team Leader, Fairtrade Africa) called for cocoa farmers to be included in discussions on emerging EU regulations on due diligence. Regis Meritan (Head of the Sector “Agricultural Growth”, European Commission), noted that a living wage cannot be achieved with the cocoa market as it operates today - the ISCOs need to be game changers. For long-term success, it is necessary to get to the heart of the objectives, Paul Davis (President of the European Cocoa Association) stressed: one should not put pressure on the individual farmer but look at the level of government and its role.
A highlight of the ISCOnference: During the event, the French Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (FRISCO) signed the existing Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the ISCOs. We warmly welcome FRISCO to the ISCO partnership!
Special thanks to our partner organisations Beyond Chocolate, the Dutch Initiative for Sustainable Cocoa (DISCO) and the Swiss Initiative for Sustainable Cocoa (SWISSCO) for their excellent cooperation in the joint organisation of the conference.
You can find the programme here.
The recording is now available here:
- Morning & Break-out session traceability English, French
- Afternoon Break-out Session on child labour, deforestation (English)