ITC, Ghana Cocoa Board inform on EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive


The International Trade Centre (ITC), a United Nations agency dedicated to support small businesses, is partnering with Ghana’s Cocoa Board, the European Union (EU), the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and ISEAL to lead a workshop on the upcoming EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (EU CS3D), how it will affect Ghanaian cocoa value chain stakeholders and how they can best prepare for it.

The European Parliament has approved a new directive that will hold companies accountable for conducting sustainability due diligence in their supply chains. Businesses will have to establish systems to identify, prevent and mitigate environmental and social risks. This due diligence covers a company’s own operations, as well as its sourcing model.

Since the proposal for Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CS3D) was published in February 2022, attention has turned to how value chain actors and stakeholders will operationalize its requirements.

Ghana is taking a proactive approach to position itself strategically and take the necessary steps in sustainable and responsible business practices. The Ghana Cocoa Board is working closely with the International Trade Centre’s Alliances for Action sustainable agribusiness initiative to implement mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence in Ghana’s cocoa sector. Collaborative efforts include organizing trainings, conducting readiness assessments, and developing a comprehensive action plan.

Today’s stakeholder workshop takes place under the theme ‘Ghana’s Experience, Preparation, and Challenges Towards Meeting the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CS3D)’ in Accra, Ghana, in collaboration with the Ghana Cocoa Board, OACPS, ISEAL and the European Union’s Directorate General for International Partnerships (EU-DG INTPA). It also draws on extensive support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF V) programme, under which ITC is running pilot programmes on EUCS3D accompanying measures for producers and processors.

The pilots are rooted in collaboration between buyers and their value chain partners for actionable measures to implement mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence sustainably for all. Above all, they seek to make producers’ voices heard, using a bottom-up approach that brings together small farmers, processing operations and consumer-facing companies. They look to generate concrete ideas, innovations, policies and tools to operationalize the standards.

The pilots are co-financed by the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the EU and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented in partnership with the International Coffee Organization (ICO).

Today’s workshop seeks to raise awareness on CS3D, share lessons learned from the pilot programmes, discuss challenges and opportunities, and develop a roadmap for CS3D readiness in Ghana’s cocoa sector. Participants include representatives from producer groups, licensed buying companies, the Ghana Cocoa Board, and relevant government ministries, NGOs, and development partners.

ISEAL, a company that supports sustainability systems, is co-leading the workshop. Robert Suter, Stakeholder Engagement Manager at ISEAL, will discuss the potential role of sustainability systems in the implementation of the CSDDD and present how sustainability systems can be leveraged in the implementation process, and how they can reinforce due diligence processes.

About the International Trade Centre – The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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