Ivory Coast lifts suspension of Hershey cocoa sustainability schemes

By Ange Aboa ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast will lift a suspension imposed this week on cocoa sustainability schemes run by Hershey after the U.S.-based chocolate maker committed to paying a premium aimed at combating poverty among farmers. Ivorian and Ghanaian cocoa regulators on Monday suspended the schemes, alleging Hershey was sourcing large volumes of physical cocoa on the ICE futures exchange to avoid paying the so-called living income differential (LID)

Reuters December 06, 2020 00:05:34 IST
Ivory Coast lifts suspension of Hershey cocoa sustainability schemes

Ivory Coast lifts suspension of Hershey cocoa sustainability schemes

By Ange Aboa

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast will lift a suspension imposed this week on cocoa sustainability schemes run by Hershey after the U.S.-based chocolate maker committed to paying a premium aimed at combating poverty among farmers.

Ivorian and Ghanaian cocoa regulators on Monday suspended the schemes, alleging Hershey was sourcing large volumes of physical cocoa on the ICE futures exchange to avoid paying the so-called living income differential (LID).

Hershey, makers of such popular candy items as Hershey chocolate bars, Hershey's Kisses and Kit Kat, said it was fully participating in the LID and would continue to do so.

Ivorian regulator, the Coffee and Cocoa council (CCC), has since held a video meeting with Hershey representatives in which it promised to lift the suspension, a letter dated Dec. 4 from the CCC to Hershey and seen by Reuters shows.

The move "follows your definitive commitment to pay the LID", the letter, whose authenticity was verified by a CCC spokesperson, said.

"Our sustainability programs complement and strengthen our shared efforts to positively impact cocoa-growing communities," Hershey said, adding it recognised the importance of the LID.

The schemes certify cocoa as sustainably sourced - meaning its production is free of environmental and human rights abuses, such as using child labour or being grown in a protected forest.

This allows companies to market their chocolate as ethical and charge a premium for it.

Ghana's cocoa industry regulator, Cocobod, has not yet taken a decision on whether to lift the suspension, a spokesman said.

Ivory Coast and Ghana, which produce two-thirds of the world's cocoa, introduced a $400 a tonne LID on cocoa sales for the 2020/21 season, but have since struggled to sell their beans as chocolate demand has been hit by the coronavirus crisis.

(Additional reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Pravin Char and Alexander Smith)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.