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"Deforestation-Free Cocoa (Cacao)" "Cacao without deforestation"Have you ever heard the word
In this article, I would like to introduce the European movement on deforestation-free cacao, Ecuadorian trends, and Mamano Chocolate's cacao initiatives!
"On 17 November 2021, the European Commission issued a decision aimed at curbing deforestation and forest degradation through the expansion of agricultural land for the production of certain commodities namely cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans and timber. proposed legislation that would:" (1)
The exact content of this law has not yet been fully clarified, but in a nutshell:“Specific raw material supply chains must demonstrate through traceability systems and land monitoring that forests have not been cleared to create new farmland. 』That means.
The law will come into effect from 2024 and the supply chain of goods will be“Proof that no deforestation has taken place since 2020”You will have to.
the global situation,Agricultural products are the main cause of agricultural deforestationGiven that the law is expected to bring about changes in corporate environmental behavior. Unless companies and governments adopt a systematic approach to sustainable procurement,Deforestation and forest conversion will not stopIt's from (2)
Trends in Ecuador
The Ecuadorian government wants to be well prepared not to lose European customers due to lack of systems to manage deforestation.
Ecuador is roughly divided into three regions, each of which has a completely different land use pattern.
In the mountainous areas, it is too cold to grow cacao, and in the coastal areas, there are many large farms owned by landlords, and there are various forms of land use, such as cultivating products in monoculture farms.
The regions where our cocoa is grown areUntouched nature and nature reserves at the foot of the Andes Mountains in Napo, Ecuadorsurrounded by
our farmersIn forests with high biodiversity, cocoa is managed with many native plants for multi-purpose use as a raw material for medicine, food and handicrafts.doing.
All our farmers are land owners and do not use machinery to cultivate.
We maintain a very strict traceability system, knowing the location and name of the farmers who harvested the cocoa used in our fine flavored chocolates.
Due to land reforms in the 70s and 80s of the last century, large landowners expropriated land,A Kichwa family owns about 40 to 50 hectares of land.was able to obtain
The landowners mainly raised cattle, so they cut down forests to grow grass for their cattle.
Once indigenous peoples acquired this land, they began to grow what they normally foraged in the forest, creating a highly biodiverse agroforestry system.
At the same time, the land away from roads and rivers remained mostly pristine primary forest.
for mamano“Cacao without deforestation”What is the meaning of
Mamano is a Japanese company and we are talking about European law, so it is not directly affected by this law.
The Winyac Cooperative, which grows Mamano cocoa, is now, Participated in Ecuadorian government pilot projectThe goal is to develop a system to monitor land use and prove that the land has not been deforested since 2020.
Of course, the Winyak GuildOfficially certified as deforestation-free cocoaI think it will be done.
But in fact, the Wignac Union and Mamano ChocolateGoing one step further than these efforts。
our farm isClose to forests in terms of biodiversity and carbon sequestrationSo we can say that we are not only avoiding deforestation, but also helping to regenerate and increase forests.
For large companies with products already grown in monoculture systems,Unfortunately most of the cultivated land is already deforestedSo it won't be a big change, but at least more deforestation can be avoided by enforcing the law.
At Mamano, we are pleased to see the growing global responsibility for deforestation and climate change.。
At the very least, I hope that forests will no longer be cut down to make new plantations.
Mamano believes that the law will not only force companies and suppliers to avoid deforestation,We hope that it will change the way companies think, act more responsibly, and reduce their impact on global warming and climate change.doing!
Deforestation Free cocoa a challenge for the industry? What does this mean for Mamano?
"On 17 November 2021, the European Commission tabled a legislative proposal aimed at curbing deforestation and forest degradation driven by the expansion of agricultural land used to produce specific commodities, namely cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya and wood." (1)
The exact content of the law is still not completely clear but it in few words, the supply chains of named raw materials will have to prove by a traceability-systems and a land monitoring, that there was no forest cut down to create new agricultural land. The law will be in force from the year 2024 and the as we know by now the commodity supply chain will have to prove that there was no deforestation since 2020.
Considering the worldwide situation and the fact that the named agriculture products are the main reason for agriculture driven deforestation, this law can hopefully reach a change in the environmental behavior of the companies. As deforestation and conversion won’t stop unless business and governments adopt a systemic approach to sustainable sourcing. (2)
The news of the new regulation did already arrive in Ecuador and the Ecuadorian government wants to be well prepared in order to not loose European customers due to the lack of a system to control the deforestation.
Ecuador has three main regions, with completely different forms of land use. In the mountains, it is too cold to grow cocoa and on the coast you can find a variety of forms of land use with a high percentage of big farms owned by landlords, cultivating the products in monoculture plantations.
The region where our cocoa is cultivated is surrounded by untouched nature and natural reserves at the foot of the Andes in the Napo province of Ecuador. Our farmers manage the cocoa in high biodiverse forest gardens together with numerous native plants for multiple uses as medicine, food or raw material for handicrafts. All our farmers are the owner of their land and they do not use machines to cultivate it.
We manage a very strict traceability system and know the place and the names of the farmers who harvested the cocoa that is used for our fine flavor chocolate.
By a land reform in the 70s and 80s of the last century, the big landlords expropriated and each Kichwa family could obtain there own land of around 40 to 50 hectares. As the Landlords mainly grew cattle they did cut forest down in order to grow grass for the cows..
When the indigenous people overtook the land they started to grow the products, that they were usually collecting in the forest, and high biodiverse agro-forestry systems were born. The part of the land which is far away from the road or the river mostly stayed untouched primary forest.
What does the regulation for deforestation free cocoa mean for Mamano?
Well, Mamano is a Japanese company and we are talking about a European law so directly we are not affected but this law. But of course our partner Wiñak who has also customers in the European Union will have to prove in the future that the cocoa produced by them is free from deforestation, momentary they are already participating in a pilot project of the government of Ecuador which is trying to monitor the land-use and aims to develop a system to proof that there was no deforestation on the land since the year 2020. Surely Wiñak will also qualify to be officially certified as deforestation free cocoa.
Actually Wiñak and Mamano go one step further, as our plantations are similar to forest in relation to biodiversity and carbon fixation, so we do not only avoid deforestation, but support reforestation and the incrementation of forest.
For the big companies, which already work with products grown in monoculture systems, it will unfortunately not represent a big change as the cultivated land was mostly already deforested; At least it avoids the cut down of more forest.
As Mamano we are happy that the global responsibility towards deforestation and climate is increasing. At least this would mean, that no forest will be cut down to establish new plantations.
Mamano hopes that the law will not only force the companies and suppliers to avoid reforestation but also help to change way of thinking of the companies and lead to more responsibility and less impact on the global warming and climate change.