The German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO) has been monitoring the contribution of its members to the achievement of the GISCO's goals since 2021. This is measured on the basis of agreed indicators. Since 2022, participation in the monitoring is mandatory for all GISCO members.
You can find the detailed monitoring report here.
Excerpt from the executive summary
Navigating complexities: Pursuing living income goals in the cocoa sector
GISCO Goal 1, focusing on enhanced farm gate prices, premium systems and income-generating measures for cocoa-farming households, highlights the fundamental importance of improving living income for GISCO. This is complemented by Goal 2, which aims to elevate productivity and cocoa quality as levers for higher cocoa-related income. Progress against target indicators remains modest. Contextual factors such as a drop in farm gate prices coupled with inflation exacerbate challenges. It is clear from the data that current prices paid to farmers are too low. However, increasing the price paid to the farmer should be included in a smart mix of living income strategies to close the living income gap in a sustainable manner.
Challenges also arise in measuring progress towards these objectives due to limited transparency, availability and comparability of household income data, as well as variations in strategies and methodologies. Household income data on project and programme level reiterates the challenge at hand for measuring progress towards closing the living income gap. For the 6 projects that reported household income data, the living income gap ranges from 56% to 9%.
The sector’s journey towards this goal remains a multi-dimensional challenge, warranting increased cooperation and a harmonised approach for a comprehensive understanding of impact and strategy effectiveness.
Traceability, regulations and challenges for deforestation-free supply chains
The aspiration of Goal 5 to cease deforestation while championing forest preservation and biodiversity brings to light the pivotal role of traceability within the cocoa sector. Traceability means that the journey of cocoa beans is documented, fostering transparency and accountability throughout the value chain. The new EU Regulation on deforestation-free products compels companies engaged in the import of specific commodities to demonstrate the deforestation-free nature of their products. Our data underscores the imperative for improved traceability, revealing that a significant percentage of cocoa in the German market still lacks clear origin information. 38% of the volume of cocoa sold on the German market is traceable to farm level, whereas only 8% of the cocoa sold on the German market is reported to be deforestation-free. At 54%, the absolute volume of cocoa supplied to the German market that is traceable to farm level, however, has increased significantly (77,973MT-BE in 2021 and 119,844 MT-BE for 2022).
In 2020, the national sustainable cocoa platforms in Europe (GISCO in Germany, Beyond Chocolate in Belgium, DISCO in the Netherlands and SWISSCO in Switzerland) agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enable increased cooperation. In 2022, the French sustainable cocoa initiative FRISCO also joined. One of the cornerstones of the MoU is the harmonisation of monitoring systems. A set of common indicators and a common online monitoring tool have been developed, in particular to facilitate reporting by members who are part of multiple platforms.