Berlin, 25 April 2018–Released today, following input from about 1,500 stakeholders who attended the Fourth World Cocoa Conference in Berlin, was the Berlin Declaration, included below.

“Business as usual in the cocoa sector is no longer an option. We have to break the mould.” Dr. Jean-Marc Anga, Executive Director of the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), in the keynote speech opening the fourth World Cocoa Conference in Berlin, April 2018.

We, the delegates of the fourth World Cocoa Conference, held in Berlin in April of 2018, constituting almost 1,500 participants, from more than 65 countries, representing members of all relevant stakeholder groups, including producing governments, consuming governments, farmers, traders, grinders, processors, manufacturers, research institutions, civil society organisations, trade unions, consumer organisations, and many others.

    1.    Since the first World Cocoa Conference and the drafting of the Global Cocoa Agenda in November 2012, sector-wide efforts have proliferated to improve the lives of farmers, communities and the environment. However, these have not been enough to achieve significant impact at scale.

    2.    Too many cocoa farmers are still living in poverty. Deforestation, child labour, gender inequality, human rights violations and many other challenges are a daily reality in many cocoa regions.

    3.    We affirm that the cocoa sector will not be sustainable if farmers are not able to earn a living income.

    4.    A sustainable cocoa sector is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders, and we should work together to achieve this ambitious goal. Areas should be identified for increased non-competitive collaboration, at local, national and global level, avoiding a proliferation of efforts that lack coordination.

    5.    We recognise the urgency and scale of the challenges facing all of us. Our solutions will need to be equal to the size of the problem.

    6.    While acknowledging the commitments of the cocoa sector to achieve sustainability, it is time to review the means by which these have been measured and enforced, recognising that voluntary compliance has not led to sufficient impact.

    7.    Many of our challenges are not specifically cocoa-based, but are part of broader issues affecting rural communities. As such, holistic approaches, including effective governance, must be envisaged and implemented, where cocoa can operate as a driver for rural development.

    8.    Global price volatility and low farm gate prices have had a strong negative impact on the sector.

    9.    Without farmers, there is no cocoa. All actors should work together to create an enabling environment to professionalise cocoa farming.

    10.    Recognising cocoa farming as a business sector, farmer organization(s) should be stronger, and farmers should be encouraged to self-organise. This should include appropriate policies at national level.

    11.    Acknowledging the role of agricultural commodity development, including the cocoa sector, logging and bush fires, as drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, and recognising the strong contribution the cocoa sector can make in the restoration of forests and resilient landscapes, we commit to work together as a whole cocoa supply chain – in collaboration with the international community – to end deforestation and promote forest protection and restoration. We should improve yields on less land.

    12.    A new vision is needed in order to achieve true sector-wide sustainability.

Sustainable Production
    1.    All stakeholders should develop and implement policies that enable cocoa farmers to make a living income.

    2.    All stakeholders should foster policies and activities to strengthen the position and the rights of women.

    3.    Relevant stakeholders should contribute to creating an enabling environment that improves access to savings, credit, finance, and insurance, also for small-scale farmers.

    4.    Producing governments and sector-wide initiatives should implement and enforce policies and practices that ensure environmental protection, including anti-deforestation and reforestation measures, soil protection, and agroforestry systems.

    5.    Governments should give due consideration to the needs of farmers in international trade, including options for robust international competition laws that promote fair trade for both farmers and consumers.

    6.    Child labour does not have a place in a sustainable cocoa value chain. All sectors should increase efforts, efficiency and cooperation to eradicate child labour and its root causes.

Sustainable Industry
    7.    Supply chain traceability should be recognised as a necessity for a sustainable value chain. A sector wide consensus on traceability should be developed. Efforts must be undertaken to ensure that this does not lead to additional costs and other burdens being transferred to the farmers without sufficient remuneration.

    8.    Sector sustainability efforts should be transparent and publicly accountable in both efforts and impacts, including through appropriate monitoring and evaluation frameworks.

Sustainable Consumption
    9.    Engage the sector in dynamic activities to stimulate processing in origin countries and healthy cocoa consumption in origin countries and emerging cocoa markets.

    10.    Complying with SPS requirements is in the interest of consumers and producers alike. It is essential to ensure that the necessary assistance (technical, financial, or otherwise) is provided to enable producers to comply with these requirements.

Sustainable Management
    11.    Producing country governments to coordinate national and regional cocoa policies, specifically being mindful of the impact this can have on cocoa prices.

    12.    Producing country governments should strengthen National Cocoa Development Plans (NCDPs); including a strengthening of infrastructure, extension services, farm diversification, tenure security, etc, making efforts to ensure a transparent, inclusive and participatory approach in the development and implementation of the NCDPs.

    13.    Producing country governments are called upon to carry out a reliable inventory of cocoa tree stocks.

    14.    All stakeholders are called upon to strengthen human rights due diligence across the supply chain, including through potential regulatory measures by governments.

    15.    Public and private sector are encouraged to stimulate scientific research & development into sustainable production, consumption and innovative processing.

    16.    Governments of producing and consuming nations are called upon to re-evaluate the effectiveness and transparency of their investments in the cocoa sector.

    17.    The entire cocoa sector, including industry, governments of consuming nations, producing nations, international donors, cocoa farmers, and other relevant institutions, are called upon urgently to increase their investments in the improvement of the cocoa sector.

    18.    The time to act is now.

Summaries of the results of discussions on the four major tracks of the Conference:

Track 1 Sustainable Production (moderator Simran Sethi)
How can we move to a sustainable business case and a living income for farmers?

•    Lack of information of:
•    producers concerning the price and the market
•    consumers concerning the value distribution along the value chain
•    governments concerning the cocoa producers’ network
•    Lack of education and business skill of the farmers
•    Lack of organisation of the cocoa producers
•    Low access to finance and land for farmers
•    Poor integration of the farmers to the value chain

All the topics are interrelated and need to be maintained to ensure sustainable chain
Track 1 is related to:
•    Mechanization of agriculture and local processing + commitment of industry to pay fixed incomes to farmers
•    Local consumption through the increasing awareness of the value chain for local consumption and sustainable global consumption
•    Management through the redefinition of the relationship with commodity markets

•    To pay higher farm gate prices
•    To organize and strengthen farmer advocacy groups and restructure cooperatives
•    To secure land tenure and improve the access to credit
•    To promote local consumption / create local markets for cocoa and develop value-added products
•    To support and develop the local processing (government and industry)

•    To set up a national / global trust fund for farmers
•    To improve cooperation across other industries (coffee, rubber, palm oil)
•    To shorten supply chains in order to develop direct-to-consumer / direct-to-small makers
•    To develop specific culturally-appropriate solutions (to pricing, gender disparity and child labour)
•    To set up a trust fund for the preservation of diverse genetic material (cocoa research centre / CATIE)

Cocoa Track Key Question: How can we move to a sustainable business case and a living income for farmers?
– By giving the farmers the place they deserve – as core part of the value chain, not simply as most assistance needed player but as decision-makers, as integral and important as the rest
– By ensuring a living income for farmers

Track 2 Sustainable Industry (moderator Daniele Giovannucci)
How can we create an efficient industry chain that more effectively links farmers to markets and ensures profitability for everyone in the market chain?

Main messages:

1.    Better risk management
a.    Farmers have little understanding of financial or price risk management, there is a need for more financial literacy and active participation via organizations.
b.    Access to risk tools, especially financial ones, must come at the adequate scale for farmers and cooperatives.
c.    Diversification is vital for small farmers and sustainability programmes should include farm diversification packages to ensure continuity and well-being of farm communities.

2.    Professional organizations  – cooperatives can act not only as farmers’ representatives but also as functional social enterprises with a transparent organizational structure to manage sufficient and useful data. This will require dedicated programs to strengthen and build capacity.

3.    Diminishing key barriers for processing in producing countries can stimulate value and cocoa consumption as well as become a precursor to value-added export opportunities. The innovative investment that this requires is limited by policy that creates barriers for entrepreneurs to do business.

4.    Good information is key for the sector to learn faster, to scale up viable approaches, and to operate efficiently.
a.    To be viable, for traceability and decision-making, data has to share a “common language“ and indicators and that can help to reduce the challenge that information is asymmetrically distributed and keeps farmer in a weak position.
b.    Farm data has value and farmers should have value back either as revenue or as distilled knowledge.

5.    Any ethical trade approach is incomplete if it is not led by origin and integrates participatory approaches.

Track 3 Sustainable consumption (moderator Torben Erbrath)
What is stopping us from continuous and growing demand for sustainably produced cocoa and cocoa-based products?

–    Confusion about meaning and liability of levels of certification in consumer countries
–    lack of promotion in origin and a focus on exports of cocoa/chocolate
–    farmers often do not know what happens to cocoa when it leaves the farm
–    consumers do not know what happens to cocoa and how it is produced
–    often no price increase related to the introduction of 100% sustainable cocoa in final products, putting pressure on producers
–    a lot of standards and norms are consumer-driven, putting pressure on farmers
–    costs of production of sustainable cocoa (certification must be affordable)
–    threat of cadmium legislation in the EU
–    market access
–    price level and volatility
–    imbalance of added value towards consuming countries

What is the relationship with other tracks?
–    everything is related

What are possible next steps

•    development of micro-chocolate factories in origin countries
•    improve partnerships, especially in research
•    more uniformity in certification schemes and systems required
•    branding strategy for producing countries (telling the story)
•    pricing strategy among large producing countries
•    better labels
•    new marketing strategies
•    building awareness of about proposed EU legislation (on cadmium)
•    add a “rainforest premium” to support deforestation prevention
•    create funds to protect farmers from price fluctuations

Track 4 Sustainable Management  (moderator Lucas Simons)
How do we create the right enabling environment to make the whole sector more sustainable?

Challenges/root problems
•    Lack of information
•    Price instability
•    Weak producers’ organizations
•    Lack of access to finance
•    Poverty
•    Lack of transparency/ policies

Relationship to other tracks
•    All other tracks, in particular track 1.

Next steps
•    All local platforms mesh – with farmers as equal partners, also in ICCO
•    To have longer and consistent policies. Aligned between countries. Reviewed periodically, work from National Cocoa Plan
•    Make access to finance, and resilient farmers (as business) part of the National Cocoa Plans
•    Capacity building as part of NC Plan.
•    Human productivity: health, education, infrastructure, part of national cocoa plan.
•    Geo-date map all farmers/farms to enable: pensions, supply and demand, access to finance, better support

Innovative ideas
•    ‘Cocoa OPEC’
•    Pension scheme Ghana for all farmers (cocoa)
•    Non-partisan approach – policies and benefits for all
•    Geo date / map every farmer as enabler for many challenges to solve
•    National policies to balance/ coordinate supply / demand

Cocoa Track Key Question: How do we create the right enabling environment to make the whole sector more sustainable?
•    Implement the GCA framework
•    Not casual
•    Accountability / transparency
•    Resources to do it
•    Report and Measure
•    Action plan / Stop talking.

The International Cocoa Council and subsidiary bodies, including the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy, as well as the Economics and Administration and Finance Committees, will meet at the Maritim Berlin Hotel, Berlin, Germany, 26 – 28 April 2018, immediately following the Fourth World Cocoa Conference, to be held at the same location.

Provisional Timetable of Meetings, 26 – 28 April 2018, Berlin, Germany

ED(MEM) 1052-Rev.2
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Arrangements for the April 2018 meetings

ED(MEM) 1054
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International Cocoa Council: Draft Agenda

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Administration and Finance Committee: Draft Agenda

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Economics Committee: Draft Agenda

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Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy: Draft Agenda

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Some 1,500 stakeholders from around the world and across the sector are expected to gather in Berlin in April to discuss the most important issues in cocoa and chocolate, and how progress can be made in assuring and equitable future for all of them.

The fourth edition of the biennial World Cocoa Conference, scheduled for 22 – 25 April at the Maritim Hotel Berlin — organized by the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) — will address the problems of smallholder cocoa farmers hit by longstanding low prices for the commodity, among many other important issues.

Examining the topics of production, trade, consumption and the sustainability of the whole sector, world experts will join with representatives of producer and consumer country governments, the trade, chocolate industry and civil society in a heavily interactive mix of presentations, discussions and networking that will involve stakeholders from 60 countries.

Graciously hosted by the government of the German Federal Republic, the Conference is to be opened by a group of senior government Ministers and top officials from the world’s most important cocoa producing and cocoa consuming nations, and will include plenary sessions addressed by senior executives of the largest multinational chocolate companies, including Mars Wrigley, Ritter Sport and Barry Callebaut.

An innovative day of breakout sessions will take deep dives into some viable solutions for the complex problems of the cocoa sector, involving everyone from senior academics and representatives of development bodies to the crucial cocoa farmers themselves, hailing from the most significant origins all over the globe. In total, over a hundred moderators, presenters and panelists will bring varied approaches to tackling these most difficult issues, and new technology at the Conference will bring the various stakeholders together to become the most inclusive and representative event in cocoa.

In another part of the Conference, the role of Women in Cocoa and Chocolate will be highlighted in a special forum organized in conjunction with NGO Solidaridad. The Fine and Flavour Cocoa sector will also be the subject of a day-long ancillary event, organized with the help of the International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting, and looking at the increasing share of the single origin cocoa segment, as well as developments in the market for the high value speciality chocolate products that use these exemplary cocoas.

The wide-ranging Conference — accompanied by an Exhibition showcasing some of the major suppliers to the sector and institutions involved in assisting its development worldwide — once again will serve as a gathering place for the cocoa world for four days in April. The Conference will immediately precede the International Cocoa Council’s meeting of Member countries of the ICCO.

For updated information on the Fourth World Cocoa Conference, including the latest programme and details on how to attend, please visit the event website

For information about sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities, please contact +44 (0) 20 7780 4340 or

Abidjan, 28 February 2018–The International Cocoa Organization today releases its first forecasts for the 2017/2018 cocoa year and revised estimates of world production, grindings and stocks of cocoa beans for 2016/2017, as summarized below. The data published in Issue No. 1 – Volume XLIV – Cocoa year 2017/2018 of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics reflect the most recent information available to the Secretariat as at the beginning of February 2018.

Summary of forecasts and revised estimates


Cocoa year
2016/2017 2017/2018 Year-on-year change
Previous estimates a/ Revised estimates Forecasts
(thousand tonnes) (Per cent)
World production 4 733 4 748
4 638
– 110  – 2.3%
World grindings 4 351 4 401
4 487
+ 86  + 2.0%
Surplus/deficit b/ + 335 + 300
+ 105
End-of-season stocks 1 760 1 725
1 830
+ 105 + 6.1%
Stocks/Grindings ratio 40.5% 39.2% 40.8%

a/   Estimates published in Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, Vol. XLIII – No. 4 – Cocoa year 2016/2017
b/   Surplus/deficit: Net world crop (gross crop adjusted for loss in weight) minus grindings
Totals may differ due to rounding.

This issue of the Bulletin contains the Secretariat’s first forecasts for the 2017/2018 cocoa year, as well as data for the past four years of production and grindings of cocoa beans, detailed by country. The main features of the global cocoa market are illustrated in colour charts. In addition, the Bulletinincludes comments on crop and demand prospects in the leading countries for the current season, and a review of price developments on international markets for cocoa beans during the October-December quarter of 2017.

Statistical information on trade in cocoa beans, cocoa products and chocolate, by country and by region, published in this edition, covers annual data from 2013/2014 to 2015/2016 and quarterly statistics for the period October-December 2015 to April-June 2017. Details of origin of imports and destination of exports for leading cocoa importing countries are also provided. Historical statistics on cocoa trade and consumption, by country and by region, for the period 2007/2008 to 2015/2016 are presented for reference.

Copies of the Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics, including Microsoft Excel files and Adobe PDF format, can be ordered by completing and returning this form, or from the ICCO Secretariat at the address below:

International Cocoa Organization
06 P.O. Box 6891
Abidjan 06
Côte d’Ivoire

Tel:              +225 22 51 49 50/51
Fax:             +225 22 51 49 79
E-mail: or

London, 25 January 2018–The ICCO Expert Working Group on Stocks (EWGS) met at the London offices of ICE Futures Europe to review the level of world cocoa bean stocks. The EWGS is composed of experts in the cocoa field who meet once a year, at the invitation of the ICCO, to review and analyse the results of the ICCO’s annual survey of cocoa stocks held in warehouses worldwide. The survey has been conducted every year since 2000 and aims to improve transparency in the cocoa market.

The ICCO survey of European warehouse stocks showed a stock draw of 51,238 tonnes. Published data from North America showed a stock build of 106,000 tonnes. The Working Group, taking account of the level of world cocoa bean stocks identified by the ICCO survey and additional market information, estimated that world cocoa bean stocks increased by 144,000 tonnes compared to the previous year. This result reflects a cocoa supply surplus smaller than the one published by the ICCO in its latest Quarterly Bulletin of Cocoa Statistics (QBCS) in November 2017, estimated at 335,000 tonnes for the 2016/2017 season.

The review conducted by the EWGS during its meeting led to the conclusion that the survey results have probably underestimated the increase of existing world stocks during that year, due to the expansion of “invisible” stocks – i.e. stocks held in locations not reporting to the ICCO survey. The most significant area of “invisible” stocks was identified as Asia. The Secretariat agreed to approach the Cocoa Association of Asia in order to increase transparency of stock levels in the region.

The ICCO Secretariat maintains its supply surplus estimate of 335,000 tonnes for 2016/2017 as published in its latest QBCS.