A new series of International Standards on sustainable and traceable cocoa aims to provide a platform to benefit the lives of cocoa farmers, contribute to environmental sustainability, and improve consumer confidence.
Developed by stakeholders from all sectors of the cocoa industry the ISO 34101 series of standards aims to encourage professionalization in cocoa farming and contribute to farmer livelihoods and improved working conditions. The standards cover organizational, economic, social, and environmental aspects of cocoa farming and also feature strict traceability requirements.
ISO 34101-1, Sustainable and traceable cocoa – Part 1: Requirements for cocoa sustainability management systems, aims to help users implement effective practices to allow them to continually improve their business. Part 2 deals with performance requirements and specifies economic, social and environmental criteria, while Part 3 contains requirements for traceability of sustainably produced cocoa. Part 4 is aimed at certification scheme owners, certification bodies, and those seeking conformity to the ISO 34101 series.
The ISO 34101 series was developed by ISO in collaboration with the European Committee for Standardization under its technical committee CEN/TC 415, Sustainable and Traceable Cocoa, along with ISO technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products, subcommittee SC 18, Cocoa.
Chair of CEN/TC 415 and ISO/TC 34/SC 18 Jack Steijn said the multi-stakeholder development process for the ISO 34101 series was positive for the sector, will benefit the lives of cocoa farmers, contribute to environmental sustainability, and improve consumer confidence.
“The series will enable farmers and farmer organizations to benefit from strategically addressing issues that threaten their sustainability by using approaches put forward by experts from all over the world,” Steijn said.
“By introducing the Cocoa Farm Development Plan—a key element of the standard—cocoa farmers will be able to assess whether or not they will benefit from moving to sustainable production. Then, if they choose to meet the requirements of the standards, they will be in a better position to develop into economically viable entrepreneurs.”