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By ending deforestation in West Africa we can turn cocoa farmers into climate heroes

World Cocoa Foundation chairman Barry Parkin says the unprecedented deal signed by 21 cocoa companies with Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire at COP23 this week will introduce climate-smart farming practices and lift hundreds of thousands from poverty.

A ground-breaking agreement to end deforestation in West Africa has been signed at the COP23 climate talks in Bonn this week.

Barry Parkin, who is chief sustainability officer of Mars, Inc, and chairman of the World Cocoa Foundation, said in an interview with Ethical Corporation that the agreement, signed between 21 companies and the world’s biggest cocoa-producing countries, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, is unprecedented.

“Those two countries account for around 60% of the world’s cocoa. The key here is having the governments and industry working on this. That is unique. I don’t think it has really happened in any other commodity, so we are breaking new ground here.”

photo credit: CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture

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