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If you are an environmentalist, check what chocolate you consume. Illegal cocoa sweeps Africa's protected areas

If you are an environmentalist, check what chocolate you consume. Illegal cocoa sweeps Africa's protected areas


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The research carried out by the NGO Mighty Earth, highlights the disappearance of forests, jungles and various species of animals in the Ivory Coast and neighboring Ghana, displaced by cocoa fields both in protected reserves and in areas allowed to such an end.

In some protected areas, the primate population has completely disappeared, while elephants are in danger of extinction.

"Most of the national parks and protected areas of Côte d'Ivoire have been totally or almost totally cut down and replaced by cocoa crops ... For years, the main chocolate companies in the world have been buying cocoa from protected areas," the report denounces " The dark secret of chocolate "

An alarming fact, in the Ivory Coast only 4% of tropical forest remains. Since the 1970s, this ecosystem has been reduced by 80 percent and will continue to do so.

The report also denounces that the multinational companies Ferrero, Nestlé, Lindt and Mars, among others, buy illegal cocoa produced in forest areas where all cultivation is prohibited.

Those in charge of buying the cocoa beans to later resell them to the cooperatives are the trackers. They then take the merchandise to San Pedro and Abidjan, where it is sold to large agri-food companies such as Olam, Cargill and Barry Callebaut.

These international traders supply this illegal cocoa to the big chocolate brands such as Ferrero, Lindt, Mars, Nestlé and Cadbury.

The Ivorian authorities are sometimes complicit or simply ineffective. It is impossible that the industrialists are not aware of the situation. This situation is an "open secret", according to Mighty Earth. Protected areas have sometimes become real cities. Scio's, for example, would have 22 cacao warehouses and warehouses, thousands of inhabitants, dozens of stores, a school and a dispensary.

“This problem has been known for several years. Companies have already taken steps by investing in cocoa traceability, working on mixed agroforestry with more environmentally friendly plantations, and acting in favor of the restoration of certain areas. At the beginning of this year, 35 companies in the sector decided to come together to launch a new partnership project with the Ivorian government and thus end deforestation in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Our program will be announced in November at COP 23 ”.

You can check the report here.

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Video: From cocoa to chocolate. The long journey of a great tasting product. Barry Callebaut (July 2022).


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