ISO series defines sustainable cocoa farming

Wednesday, 31 July, 2019

ISO series defines sustainable cocoa farming

The publication of the ISO 34101 series of standards on sustainable and traceable cocoa provides a platform to improve the lives of cocoa farmers, leading to environmental sustainability and improving consumer confidence.

Due to the inherent complexities of cultivating the cocoa bean, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) collaborated with representatives from countries where cocoa beans are grown and consumed to develop the new series of standards. The ISO standard was also developed in collaboration with the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN). The ISO 34101 series encourages the professionalisation of cocoa farming and improving working conditions for farmers. It also acts as an introductory guide to sustainable cocoa production for farmers new to cocoa cultivation.

The ISO standard aims to turn sustainable cocoa from a niche concept to mainstream by providing guidelines by which farmers may align to improve their produce. The standard provides requirements on farmer organisations, detailing the organisational, economic, social and environmental aspects of cocoa farming and placing requirements for traceability, thereby supporting the sustainability of the cocoa bean used.

The first part of the ISO standards underscores the requirements for cocoa sustainability management systems. Part 2 details the environmental, economic and social criteria needed to enhance performance requirements, while part 3 details the traceability of sustainably produced cocoa. The ISO standard concludes with part 4, targeting certification scheme owners and those seeking to follow the series.

The series is designed to encourage greater respect for the environment and assurance to consumers that their chocolate is derived from sustainably cultivated cocoa. The Cocoa Farm Development Plan will allow farmers to improve their sustainability and develop into economically viable entrepreneurs by using techniques recommended by experts. The Cocoa Farm Development Plan helps farmers determine the economic benefit of becoming certified, through listing the requirements for certification schemes and certification bodies.

The ISO 34101 series is available from Standards Australia or through the ISO Store.

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