LONDON, 22 February 2013—Blommer Chocolate Company, the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America, has become the latest cocoa stakeholder to sign the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration, the ICCO revealed today.

President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Blommer signed the Declaration on 20 February on behalf of the Chicago-based family-owned company, which was founded in 1939, and has four North American plants, employing 650. Blommer’s activities aimed at advancing its cocoa sustainability agenda include privately managed programmes promoting sustainable farming in Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador and Indonesia. 

Blommer joins 30 other cocoa sector stakeholders--ranging from cocoa growers through their governments to civil society and most of the world’s largest manufacturers of chocolate--who began the signing of the ground-breaking agreement at a special ceremony during the World Cocoa Conference in Abidjan in November. The Declaration remains open to allow more cocoa stakeholder organizations to sign it.

The Abidjan Cocoa Declaration, which recommends specific and measurable actions to achieve a sustainable cocoa economy, reflects the more detailed proposals of the Global Cocoa Agenda. The important issues highlighted by the Agenda formed the basis of many of the presentations, discussions and panel sessions that took place at the World Cocoa Conference.

The Declaration is to be the first step in an ongoing process aimed at creating a sustainable future for the cocoa sector and helping to ensure that its benefits are shared along the entire chain, starting with the growers. Another World Cocoa Conference is planned in 2014 to monitor and review the progress made dealing with the issues outlined by the Declaration and the Agenda.  

The texts of both the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration and the Global Cocoa Agenda, as well as most of the presentations that were delivered at the World Cocoa Conference, can be downloaded here.

The previous signatories to the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration were: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Togo, Papua New Guinea, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé, Petra Foods, Armajaro Trading Ltd, Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Ferrero Trading, Federation of Cocoa Commerce, Touton, ADM, CAOBISCO, World Cocoa Foundation, IDH (Dutch Sustainable Agriculture Initiative), ECA (European Cocoa Association), Olam International / Outspan Ivoire, ACP (The Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States), Talents (farmer), Amtrada/Continaf, CEMOI, ICI (International Cocoa Initiative), HCCO (Hamburg Cocoa & Commodity Office GmbH) and Noble Group.

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