After a welcoming address by Didier Reynders, EU Commissioner for Justice, and a presentation of the Swiss "Responsible Business Initiative", Sarah Bollermann from the Aldi South Group gave the participants an exciting insight into the Human Rights Due Diligence concept of the retailer.
In the ensuing panel discussion, representatives of the various stakeholder groups along the cocoa supply chain - from COCOBOD from Ghana and ISEAL, to Barry Callebaut and Nestlé, to Colruyt, a Belgian retailer - discussed ways of cooperating to jointly ensure the implementation of Human Rights Due Diligence.
The working groups then examined the responsibilities of the individual actors in more detail, identified tools for effective cooperation and discussed the role of multi-actor platforms. It was shown that the "pre-competitive" space created by multi-actor platforms, in which not only best practices but also challenges are (should be) shared, is particularly valued by the members of the platforms and should be further strengthened across platforms. This was accompanied by a recommendation by all working groups: Transparency along the supply chain must be improved in order to develop information-based measures that ensure compliance with human rights along the cocoa supply chain.
The documentation of the event can be found here.