Cocoa Coalition welcomes key improvements in European Parliament vote on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

Friday, 28 April 2023

The Cocoa Coalition welcomes key improvements proposed by the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament in its vote to define the position of the Parliament on the proposed Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive. We urge the Members of the European Parliament to uphold these improvements in the upcoming vote in plenary.

We have consistently expressed our support for an ambitious Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), as a steppingstone to make cocoa value chains more sustainable. However, as expressed in our position paper of September 2022, the European Commission’s proposal needed to be improved to ensure it benefits people and nature worldwide. The European Parliament has an important role to play to fill in these gaps, and the vote today in the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) is a key step in that direction.

We commend the rapporteur, MEP Lara Wolters, and the shadow rapporteurs, for their efforts to reach ambitious compromises. The compromise package adopted today goes a long way toward aligning the CSDDD with the international due diligence standards, as laid out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. It also reflects some of our key recommendations to improve the proposed Directive in a number of important aspects, namely:

  • –  the inclusion of living income as a key element for companies to look into when conducting due diligence;
  • –  the obligation for companies to address the impact of their purchasing practices as part of the due diligence process;
  • –  the obligation to engage meaningfully with stakeholders – with a specific focus on vulnerable stakeholders – throughout the whole due diligence process;
  • –  the precision that disengagement must take place as a last resort, taking into account the potential adverse impacts of such disengagement.

[Note: the Cocoa Coalition comprises companies (Ferrero, Hershey, Mars Wrigley, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Tony’s Chocolonely, Unilever), certification organisations (Fairtrade International, Rainforest Alliance), NGOs (Fair Trade Advocacy Office, Solidaridad, VOICE Network) and multi-stakeholder organisations (International Cocoa Initiative). For our position paper on the CSDDD see here.]