The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has launched its second report on the sustainable commodities market, this time covering the cocoa sector. With the rapid proliferation of voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) in the cocoa sector, the volume of sustainably produced cocoa is growing faster than conventionally produced cocoa, in addition to signs of growth in VSS-compliant production among what the IISD categorizes as “Low Human Development Countries” (LHDCs). This is according to a new report released by the IISD in late November.
While conventional production showed a slight decrease between 2008 and 2016, VSS-compliant cocoa experienced a significant compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 46 %, thus bringing the volume of sustainable cocoa up to in excess of 25 % of global production. In four LHDCs, the CAGR during this period was up by at least 25 %.
Despite the projected growth of the sector driven by increased demand for cocoa-based products, including premium and sustainably-sourced cocoa, the IISD said there are several risks on the cocoa supply side. Market price volatility, income disparity across the value chain, reduction in yields (due to the age of many cocoa trees), and the effects of rising temperatures in producing countries are among the challenges that need to be addressed.