European cocoa buyers must be ready to pay more for cocoa beans that meet the region’s looming sustainability rules, key grower Ghana warned.
Ivory Coast and Ghana which produce two-thirds of the chocolate ingredient, are having to set up systems to comply with new European Union (EU) regulations that ensure products are not grown on deforested land.
They will enter into force at the end of this month, though companies have until the end of 2024 to comply.
The European Union is also putting measures in place to solve issues like child labour within company supply chains. However, meeting requirements of the rules will come at an extra cost that the consumer will have to pay, according to Ghana Cocoa Board chief executive Joseph Boahene Aidoo.
“We want to sustainably produce cocoa at certain quality and quantity at a specific cost which the consumer should be prepared to pay,” Aidoo said in an interview in the capital, Accra.
Ghana’s warning of extra costs comes as consumers around the world continue to be squeezed by higher prices for groceries – including indulgent treats. Lon cocoa futures have climbed to the highest since 2016 amid concerns unfavorable whether could tighten supplies.
The European Union’s new rules will also apply to products including coffee, palm oil and soybeans. Joseph Boahene Aidoo further explained that Ghana’s cocoa crop is in comply with the legislation, and that beans shipped from the country will be able to be traced back to the farm.
“It is in our own interest that we improve and keep protecting the environment within which we produce cocoa,” he added.
“Our system has a national identity and improved transparency in the cocoa sector and allows the regulator to scientifically prove the location of farms and veracity of claims of child labour.”