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In Cameroon, a new roadmap to deforestation-free cocoa

February 09, 2021

A new framework is bringing together industry stakeholders to promote a sustainable cocoa sector in Cameroon and protect the third-largest forest range in the Congo Basin.

The Roadmap to Deforestation-Free Cocoa in Cameroon is a commitment to conserve and restore forests while enhancing cocoa productivity in the country. Cargill, and through its joint venture Telcar, is a signatory to the roadmap, which was convened by IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative.

The roadmap brings together industry, government, civil society and international development partners. It includes nine commitments based on three main pillars: forest protection and restoration; sustainable production and marketing of deforestation-free cocoa; and community engagement and social inclusion.

With this commitment, signatories pledge to improve the long-term productivity of cocoa farms while working together to implement full traceability from farm to port by 2025. Through these efforts, the roadmap aims to improve the livelihoods of up to 600,000 cocoa farmers in Cameroon.

“As a signatory, we are aware this is only the beginning of a long but important journey with our partners,” said Taco Terheijden, sustainability director for Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. “As we continue to transform our supply chain, we see this roadmap as one of many essential tools that will drive the sector forward.”

Advancing sustainability

Cameroon is the fourth-largest cocoa producer in the world and has ambitions to grow.
Development must be balanced with protecting the rainforest that covers approximately 46% of the country’s territory.

The Roadmap to Deforestation-Free Cocoa in Cameroon advances Cargill’s Protect Our Planet strategic action plan, which outlines how Cargill will eliminate deforestation from its cocoa supply chain by 2030. Protect Our Planet goals are aligned with Cargill’s company-wide commitment to ending deforestation. 

Signing on to the roadmap is a continuation of Cargill’s commitment to create a sustainable and thriving cocoa sector in Cameroon. As part of the joint venture Telcar, Cargill has been training cocoa farmers in Cameroon since 2011. Through the Cargill Cocoa Promise, 48,000 Cameroonian farmers received training on good agricultural practices in 2018/2019 and we supported over 438 communities with development programs.

“Sustainability issues in the cocoa sector are interconnected and must be managed as such,” said Terheijden. “While there is no single solution to ending deforestation, this roadmap is a significant milestone in coming together to create meaningful change in Cameroon.”

Learn more about the Roadmap to Deforestation-Free Cocoa in Cameroon by watching  this video.