Challenges and solutions in cocoa sustainability
The challenges of unsustainable cocoa farming
Environmentally, cocoa farming can contribute to deforestation and CO2 emissions. The industry is also associated with the improper use of agrochemicals, water waste and loss of biodiversity, albeit to a varying degree.
Furthermore, many social issues such as child labour, unsafe working conditions, human rights violations, lack of schools and healthcare facilities tend to accompany cocoa sourcing.
These social conditions underscore the economic reality of much cocoa production, including unproductive farming practices, a lack of management skills, volatile prices, and the resulting low yields and inadequate and unstable income.
How to make cocoa sustainable for the planet, people, and business
Since poverty is the root cause of these intertwined issues, the most effective way to address everything from deforestation to forced labour is to confront the social and economic difficulties that give farmers no choice but to, for example, clear forests for their survival.
Therefore, the most fundamental recommendation for the industry is to help farmers earn more money and reduce their risks. Moreover, it is, among other things, advisable to enact child labour monitoring and remedial systems, support communities with education and healthcare, recognise and protect labour rights, and create safe working conditions.