Collaboration Addressing Climate Change's Threat to Cocoa
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) has introduced a new program designed to strengthen collaboration between the public and private sector to address the threat climate change poses to cocoa sustainability and the many livelihoods the sector supports. The WCF-led partnership brings together ACDI/VOCA, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the world’s leading chocolate and cocoa companies. The announcement was made by WCF’s Acting President Tim McCoy during a presentation at Penn State’s Frontiers in Science and Technology for Cacao Quality, Productivity and Sustainability meeting.
This partnership is an unprecedented effort involving numerous stakeholders across the cocoa value chain to develop solutions to climate and weather variability and deforestation, which pose critical economic, social and environmental threats to millions of smallholder cocoa farmers, national economies of cocoa producing countries, and the global cocoa and chocolate industry. West Africa accounts for more than 70% of global cocoa output, while Central America’s cocoa sector is smaller but has been growing rapidly in recent years. Climate modeling suggests that various regions may need to change crops and cropping strategies, or implement adaptive management practices, in order to maintain cocoa supply and viable livelihoods.