IDH works to define common strategies and broker commitments from industry and public sector partners on sustainability targets related to farmer income, halting deforestation, and avoiding child labour. By holding partners accountable and guiding partners to intensify their efforts, this contributes to creating the conditions in producing and consuming countries within which a living income can be achieved and the environment protected.

IDH invests in strategic convening at both consuming and producing country levels to deliver change by facilitating public-private and pre-competitive dialogue.

Consuming Country Level


The world’s highest chocolate consumption countries are all found in Europe. It is in the interest of national European markets and the European Union to make the import of key commodities such as cocoa more sustainable.

This is being driven by new EU legislation particularly on EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) as well as the upcoming EU directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (EU CSDD) aimed at fostering human rights and environmental sustainability in corporate governance and management systems.

IDH leads national initiatives on sustainable cocoa (ISCOs) across Europe which have become catalytic in building consensus among public and private actors on sustainability commitments across the continent. The ISCO platforms aim lead to improve action towards social and environmental impact at scale. IDH convenes the Dutch and Belgium platforms to make cocoa in those markets more sustainable with specific targets related to living income as well as deforestation and child labour.

IDH also works to intensify collaboration and alignment across the different National Initiatives on Sustainable Cocoa in Europe – which include GISCO (Germany), SWISSCO (Switzerland), DISCO (The Netherlands), Beyond Chocolate (Belgium) and FRISCO (France).

Producing Country Level


Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana together produce over 60% of the world’s cocoa supply. Both countries have an important stake in making the sector more sustainable.  In August 2021, the two countries came together to set up the Cote d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGHCI) as the first inter-African cocoa collaboration. The aim is to achieve remunerative prices and improve the livelihoods of the estimated 1.5 estimated smallholder farmers who depend on cocoa to make a living.  In July 2022, the Governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire signed a joint statement of intent with multinational cocoa and chocolate companies to co-create a Joint Economic Pact for Sustainable Cocoa. This pact will be made up of four workstreams on price & markets, accountability and monitoring, sustainable cocoa production, and traceability. IDH assists the CIGCI Secretariat with the convening of the different workstreams and creating the sector-wide support for an Economic Pact on Sustainable Cocoa.

The Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI): An active commitment of top cocoa-producing countries with leading chocolate and cocoa companies to end deforestation and restore forest areas, through no further conversion of any forest land for cocoa production. CFI is currently implemented in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, which produce approximately 60% of the world’s annual supply of cocoa, and Colombia, where cocoa is being seen as an opportunity to support the peace process. Launched in 2017, CFI is chaired by the governments of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Colombia, and is facilitated by IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF). The Cocoa & Forest Initiative is generously supported by P4F , BUZA and SECO.


The Roadmap to Deforestation-free Cocoa: To increase cocoa production sustainably, protect National Parks and forest areas, and to help farmers find a sustainable livelihood, IDH and partners are supporting the development of a Roadmap to Deforestation-free Cocoa. The Roadmap is led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.

Past Programs