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At the November 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP23), in coordination with the Prince of Wales (now King Charles III), the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and leading chocolate and cocoa companies signed the Cocoa & Forests Initiative Frameworks for Action.

The Frameworks for Action established the groundwork for the public-private partnership platform by outlining commitments to drive sector-wide progress toward zero deforestation as well as alignment to ensure common definitions, data, and regulations.

Thirty-six WCF member companies, that account for 85% of global cocoa use, are currently signed onto the Frameworks for Action for Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

Key objectives

  • Forest protection and restoration of forests that have been degraded by cocoa farm encroachment.
  • Sustainable production and farmers’ livelihoods, including sustainable intensification and diversification of production in order to increase farmers’ yields and income and to reduce pressure on forests. 
  • Community engagement and social inclusion covering social safeguards through civil society and community engagement.


Concluding the first years of the partnership, significant milestones have been achieved. These include a robust governance structure, policies promoting forest protection, restoration, and cocoa agroforestry, progress in national forest monitoring, traceability systems and substantial investments at the farm level in traceability, agroforestry, reforestation, productivity and income diversification.


85% of directly sourced cocoa of participating companies was traceable to the plot level in 2022 - 18% year on year increase.

Sector-wide Impact Measurement

Impact KPIs defined & impact data for deforestation has been collected and analysed for the first time.

Tree seedlings

33.1M distributed since 2018 (12.4M in 2022 alone)

New Forest Code

adopted in Côte d’Ivoire in 2019 together with its implementing decrees.

Field story

To be able to trace cocoa from farm to first point of purchase, all farmers need to be geo-located and their farm size measured. Jean-Marie explains what that means in his daily job in the Meagui region in Côte d’Ivoire.

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The Asunafo-Asutifi Hotspot Area in Ghana

In Ghana, the WCF leads a deforestation-free supply chain initiative in the Asunafo-Asutifi landscape, supported by Proforest and initially funded by the UK Government. This aligns with the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme, aiming to protect and restore forests and improve cocoa farmer`s livelihoods. After a 2021 baseline assessment by Proforest, a landscape management plan was developed through a multi-stakeholder approach.

With the Walmart Foundation's support in 2023, WCF and Proforest began implementing this plan in close collaboration with the Ghana Forestry Commission, COCOBOD, local communities and NGOs and are amplifying efforts with CFI companies.

The Yapo Abbé Forest and Bossematié Nature Reserve in Côte d’Ivoire

In Côte d’Ivoire, the landscapes of Yapo-Abbé and Bossématié have been selected. WCF and IDH are working in close collaboration with the Ministries of Forest, Agriculture and Environment and their implementing agencies to roll-out the landscape approach in line with national policies. Through these collaborative projects CFI wants to demonstrate the business case for collective action in forest conservation, land restoration and supporting forest communities.

To counter deforestation in West Africa, all stakeholders must intensify efforts, mobilise resources, and advance public-private partnerships. Embracing a landscape approach is key to achieving our shared goal of restoring the forest and supporting dependent communities

Daan Wensing

Signatory Companies

Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate Company, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate, Cémoi(1), Clasen Quality Chocolate(2), CocoaSource(1), HALBA(2), Cococo Chocolatiers, ECOM Group, The Export Trading Group, Ferrero, GCB Cocoa(1), General Mills Inc., Godiva Chocolatier Inc., Guittard Chocolate Company, The Hershey Company, Indcresa(1), JB Foods(1), Lindt & Sprüngli Group, Marks & Spencer Food, Mars Wrigley, Meiji Co. Ltd.(2), Mondelēz, Nestlé, Olam Cocoa, Puratos(1), Sainsbury’s, SIAT(1), Starbucks(1), Sucden, Toms Group(2), Touton, Unilever(1), UPL, Valrhona, J.H. Whittaker & Sons(2)

(1) Côte d’Ivoire only (2) Ghana only

Key Partners

CFI is facilitated by IDH - The Sustainable Trade Initiative.

Financial partners include the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, Partnerships for Forests, and the World Bank.

CFI is coordinated with Amsterdam Declaration Partnership, Beyond Chocolate, Dutch Initiative for Sustainable Cocoa, German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa, Proforest, Rainforest Alliance, Swiss Initiative for Sustainable Cocoa, Tropical Forest Alliance, World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund.

The Cocoa, Forests & Peace Initiative Colombia

In 2018, Colombia became the first country from Latin America to join Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire signing on to the principles of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative. Through the Cocoa, Forests and Peace Initiative, the Government of Colombia, WCF members Compañía Nacional de Chocolates and Luker Chocolate and the National Cocoa Federation are committed to eliminating deforestation from the country’s cocoa supply chain.

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