Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s number one cocoa producer, is under pressure from the European Union, which accounts for more than 67% of its exports. In question, a series of measures in the process of being applied for over of one year and which plans to authorize the entry into the European market only of products whose supply chain meets pre-established criteria such as the fight against deforestation, the improvement of producers’ incomes and the fight against child labor in plantations.
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Although cocoa is not the only cash crop targeted, this legislative mechanism targets the brown gold for which, according to several reports by non-governmental organizations, cocoa farms continue to extension in protected or classified forests.
Cocoa exports are one of the primary sources of foreign exchange for Côte d’Ivoire. The country has until 2024 to apply new standards to its cocoa production, which represents an annual harvest of around 2.4 million tonnes.
Admittedly, the evolution of cocoa production has taken place over the years to the detriment of the forest and the environment. From 16 million hectares of forest at the start of independence in 1960, the country which became the world’s largest cocoa producer in 1978, today only has 3 million hectares out of barely 11% of son territory.