Joint platform event Human Rights Due Diligence

What is the role and responsibility of different actors along the cocoa supply chain?


On November 9th 2020, the three European platforms for sustainable cocoa (Beyond Chocolate, GISCO and SWISSCO) are hosting an online learning event on HRDD. The event is open to all partners of the platforms and will be held in English. Interested parties can register here until 27 October.


Background and objectives

Human Rights Due Diligence is among today’s most important sustainability challenges for companies in the cocoa and chocolate supply chain. Not least because of increased pressure from possible EU-wide legislation, European companies face the challenge to ensure the protection of human rights along their supply chain and have started the implementation of complex human rights due diligence processes.

Especially SMEs and retail with no direct contacts in producing countries and with low capacities to address sustainability challenges rely on other actors along the supply chain. Consequently, several questions on the role of different actors along the supply chain and specifically of a) multinational traders and b) standard setting organizations arise:

  • Can SMEs as well as retail companies rely on information provided by traders and, thus, can the burden for each company be reduced?
  • Can a company/ a retailer address the issue of human rights due diligence sufficiently by purchasing certified cocoa such as Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance? Or, if not, could standards be further developed to cover HRDD aspects? Or which additional processes are necessary?
  • Where does the responsibility of the standard-setting organizations end and that of the companies begin?
  • How can and should relevant information be shared along the supply chain?
  • Which elements should agreements on HRDD between the different actors in the supply chain contain?
  • What tools to fulfill and comply Human Rights Due Diligence are available?
  • What is the role of multi-stakeholder initiatives?

The objectives of the meeting are the following:

  • Build a common understanding of the role and responsibilities of different actors along the supply chain, make different opinions transparent and identify practical tools for collaboration.
Find the full agenda here