Trader and processor Transmar Group signs the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration

LONDON, 24 April 2013—International trader and processor Transmar Group on 15 April became latest cocoa stakeholder to sign the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration, joining well over 30 other organizations in support of the recommendations that arose out of the  World Cocoa Conference in Abidjan last November.

Transmar Group President Peter G. Johnson signed the Declaration on behalf of the family-owned company, founded in the US in 1980 as a trading house. Transmar has since expanded into an integrated service provider with processing factories in Europe, Latin America and North America, as well as sales offices and representation globally. The group has been steadily increasing its commitment to promoting sustainable farming practices through industry initiatives and privately managed partnerships in Ecuador, Sierra Leone and Tanzania among other places.

Transmar joins some of the most important 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 during the World Cocoa Conference.

“The Abidjan Cocoa Declaration demonstrates the Industry’s commitment to join forces and recognize that we have a responsibility that includes the economic, environmental and social aspects, and which starts with the cocoa farmer in origin and continues all the way to the consumption of the final chocolate product,” Transmar President Peter G Johnson said. “We are therefore happy to stand alongside other Cocoa Industry members and sign the Declaration. The Industry has a responsibility collectively, just like we as individual companies have a responsibility, to do our best to cultivate a more sustainable supply chain.”

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 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, planned for 2014 in the Netherlands, is to monitor and review the progress being made to deal 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 other signatories to the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration are: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Togo, Papua New Guinea, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé, Blommer Chocolate, CEMOI, Ferrero Trading, Armajaro Trading Ltd, ADM, Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Petra Foods, Amtrada/Continaf, Noble Group, Olam International / Outspan Ivoire, Touton, Federation of Cocoa Commerce, CAOBISCO, World Cocoa Foundation, IDH (Dutch Sustainable Agriculture Initiative), ECA (European Cocoa Association), ACP (The Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States), Talents (farmer), ICI (International Cocoa Initiative) and HCCO (Hamburg Cocoa & Commodity Office GmbH).

The Declaration remains open, and all cocoa stakeholder organizations are urged to sign it.