Highlights of the second Steering Committee meeting, held on 30 August, 2019

In preparation of the September 4 General Assembly, the Steering Committee gathered a second time to talk about the planning for 2019. The program for September 4 was elaborately discussed and the Steering Committee agreed on the plans for a desk research and data collection study that will be carried out – after a short tender procedure – by a research partner.

This research assignment will provide further input for a first baseline report, create a deeper insight in the origins of the cocoa beans, map the Belgian Chocolate sector and will work on a benchmark of the labels and corporate programs. This last effort will be aligned with the other EU national platforms on sustainable cocoa. Furthermore, a monitoring and evaluation expert will be selected to support with the development of an accountability framework for the Partnership and a monitoring and evaluation scheme for the co-funded projects. This scheme will use the insights gathered from the executed projects as a shared learning tool for achieving the Partnership’s ambitions.

In the runup to the event of December 5th, where partners will come together one year after the signing of the Partnership, a lot of work streams were coming together. First, a few new signatories have joined Beyond Chocolate. They will present themselves on December 5th. It is important to stress that new Partners who can contribute actively to the ambitions of the Partnership are welcome to join. Find out how you can join Beyond Chocolate here.

The Steering Committee examined the candidacies for the 3 working groups of Beyond Chocolate. During the summer period a term of reference was circulated among the partners, calling for candidates for the working groups on living income, ending deforestation and youth and decent work. They looked for a balance between the sought-after expertise and a good representation of the diverse groups of stakeholders in Beyond Chocolate. You can find the current membership lists here.

In the days after the September 4 General Assembly, the Beyond Chocolate Steering Committee has visited Côte d’Ivoire. The reasons for doing so were threefold:

  1. Gain thorough understanding of the Ivorian context, conduct field visits to get a grasp of the concrete challenges and possible strategies to tackle those challenges.
  2. Position Beyond Chocolate in the international community, interact with local governments and international stakeholders
  3. Ensure an inclusive process by engaging in a conversation with local communities and cooperatives and take this input into consideration for the next steps in our process.

During their second meeting, the members discussed about the program proposal for the visit and made suggestions for a more inclusive program.

More information on the SteerCo and its members can be found here