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The west African neighbours have been drafting new measures to rescue their remaining forests and replant degraded ones.
In an investigation published in September, the Guardian found that deforestation-linked cocoa had entered the supply chains of some of the biggest players in the chocolate industry. At the same time, the environmental group Mighty Earth published Chocolate’s Dark Secret, a report that found that “a large amount of the cocoa used in chocolate produced by Mars, Nestle, Hershey’s, Godiva, and other major chocolate companies was grown illegally.”
Corrupt Ivorian officials whose job it was to protect the country’s national parks and classified forests were accepting huge bribes to allow small-scale farmers to cut them down and grow cocoa.
This cocoa was then bought by middlemen who sold it on to large cocoa traders including Barry Callebaut and Cargill, companies which sell to Mars, Cadbury and Nestlé.
The action taken by the governments is very promising, Mighty Earth said, but will not succeed unless the cocoa traders and chocolate manufacturers put money into the effort.
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