Guidance for Cocoa Producers and Importers: EU Deforestation Due Diligence

In September 2022, the European Union (EU) Parliament voted on regulation to prevent products associated with deforestation and forest degradation from being placed in the EU market.

For cocoa placed on the EU market to be considered ‘deforestation-free’, it must have been produced on land that has not been subject to deforestation after 31 December 2020; and to evidence compliance with these requirements, cocoa operators and traders must set up and implement a Deforestation Due Diligence Process. Additionally, to be compliant with the EU proposed deforestation-free regulation, cocoa must have been produced in compliance with the national laws of the producer country, including laws related to labour, human rights, and the environment.

Proforest has worked on a consultation with key actors in the cocoa supply chain to go through each stage of the due diligence legislation. After a number of collaborative workshops and webinars, we have summarised what cocoa supply chain companies will need to do to meet upcoming EU regulatory Deforestation Due Diligence (DDD) requirements. 

The Operational Guidance for Cocoa Producers and Importers outlines the existing tools and approaches in the cocoa sector which can be used to conform with the upcoming EU regulatory DDD requirements, explaining for each step: 

  • the related main requirements from the upcoming EU deforestation-free regulation, 

  • the capability of existing tools and approaches to comply with these requirements, 

  • the implementation challenges of these requirements. 

See the exec summary of "EU Deforestation Due Diligence: Operational Guidance for Cocoa Producers and Importers" here

The Operational Guidance has been produced as part of Proforest's Production Landscape Programmes. It is part of a programme funded by the German Government's International Climate Initiative (IKI). 

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