The creation of the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy was one of the major innovations of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2001. The Board consists of private sector representatives of both exporting and importing Member countries whose mandate is to act in an advisory capacity to the International Cocoa Council on an extensive range of subjects.
The Council, at its meeting in March 2013, decided to greatly expand the Board from its previous 16 members, although the Board still includes experts from both exporting and importing countries, appointed by the Council every two years. The Board may designate one or more alternates and advisers to be approved by the Council.
The Board met for the first time in its expanded form in September 2013.
The Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy represents all sectors of the cocoa economy. These sectors include: associations, national and regional cocoa producer organizations, cocoa exporter organizations, research institutes and any other private institutions with interests in the cocoa economy. Private entities from both Member and non-Member countries are welcome to participate in the work of the Consultative Board.
In accordance with the International Cocoa Agreement, 2001, the mandate of the Consultative Board is to:
The Consultative Board maintains close co-operation with the Council and its subsidiary bodies, in order to co-ordinate its activities with the other subsidiary bodies of the Council. The Consultative Board also initiates and maintains close co-operation with other institutions, such as private associations in the cocoa and chocolate sector, established outside the scope of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2001.
Since its establishment, the Board has worked on the implementation of an ambitious work programme covering:
The main focus of the Consultative Board´s work is to establish a broadly accepted and supported concept of "sustainable cocoa economy"; to establish the ways and means to measure and to achieve progress towards reaching sustainability. Simultaneously the Board has been working on establishing a number of "building blocks" towards a sustainable world cocoa economy.
The Board has established a clear position for the benefit of the whole cocoa industry in relation to the use of pesticides, as defined in the Action Programme on Pesticides, together with recommendations on proper training and fumigation treatment.
The Board has also established a clear position on the application of tariffs, with a recommendation that all customs tariffs applied on imports of semi-finished products from origin countries should be zero and that the governments and authorities concerned should achieve a zero rate on customs tariffs as soon as possible.
The Board has established a recommendation, approved by the Council at its 30th special session in June 2005, in relation to abuses of child labour in cocoa growing.
One of the many important functions of the Consultative Board is to review and make recommendations on the many ongoing and proposed projects within ICCO, pursuant to its mandate to work towards a sustainable cocoa economy.