Greening the Dark Side of Chocolate: A Qualitative Assessment to Inform Sustainable Supply Chains

Greening the Dark Side of Chocolate: A Qualitative Assessment to Inform Sustainable Supply Chains

Despite the plethora of discourse about how sustainable development should be pursued, the production of agricultural commodities is held responsible for driving c. 80% of global deforestation. Partially as a response, the private sector has made commitments to eliminate deforestation, but it is not yet clear what factors these commitments should take into account to effectively halt deforestation while also contributing to broader sustainable development. In the context of private sector commitments to zero-deforestation, this study characterizes the perceptions of different types of stakeholders along the cocoa and chocolate supply chain in order to determine the main challenges and solutions to encourage sustainable production. The main purpose is to understand the key factors that could facilitate a transition to a more sustainable supply while harmonizing the multiple actors’ interests. A qualitative thematic analysis of perceptions was conducted based on responses from 59 interviews with different stakeholders along the cocoa and chocolate supply chain in six key producing and consuming countries. Thematic analysis of the responses revealed six main themes: (1) make better use of policies, regulations and markets to help promote sustainability; (2) improve information and data (e.g., impacts of climate change on cocoa) to inform sound interventions; (3) focus on the landscape rather than the farm-level alone and improve integration of supply chain actors; (4) promote better coordination between stakeholders and initiatives (e.g., development assistance projects and corporate sustainability efforts); (5) focus on interdependent relationships between social, environmental and economic dimensions to achieve sustainable development; and (6) engage with the private sector. The study shows the importance of identifying different stakeholder priorities in order to design solutions that accommodate multiple interests. It also emphasizes the need to improve coordination and communication between stakeholders and instruments in order to address the three different dimensions of sustainability in a synergistic manner, considering the interactions from production of raw material to end consumer.

Authors: Camargo, M.C.; Hogarth, N.J.; Pacheco, P.; Nhantumbo, I.; Kanninen, M.

Topic: supply chain, agriculture, deforestation, cocoa

Publication Year: 2018

ISSN: 0376-8929

Source: Environmental Conservation

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0376892918000243

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