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NEW CFI report shows acceleration in forest protection

(Article en français disponible  ici)

The Touton Group continues to reaffirm its agility and collaborative approaches, showcasing its ongoing commitment to sustainability. As an active member of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI), the company works closely with clients and public and private partners in cocoa-producing countries to safeguard tropical forests, enhance sustainable agricultural practices, and uplift local communities’ engagement and livelihoods.

COVER CFI Progress Report CIV GH 2023 ENG FINALTouton releases its latest CFI progress report, encapsulating key metrics and inspiring testimonials underscoring the company’s combined efforts in forest protection and restoration, sustainable agriculture, and community empowerment initiatives, particularly focusing on women and youth, within cocoa supply chains in Ghana and Ivory Coast.

Despite the challenges faced in the past season, Touton has continued to ensure compliant and responsible cocoa sourcing, rapidly incorporating the new requirements from the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR).  Key indicators show progress, with remarkable advancements in the following areas, cumulative for Ghana and Ivory Coast (year-on-year comparison with 2021/22 Touton CFI report):

  • A doubling in the number of cocoa farms mapped, and areas covered by Deforestation Risk Assessments. A significant acceleration as Touton almost reached 100% coverage in its direct supply chain in time for the activation of the EUDR by the end of the year.
  • A 60+% increase in the number of multipurpose trees distributed during the reporting year. Representing a total of over 640 000 trees planted, this figure illustrates the surge in agroforestry interventions, in line with the sector’s intensified efforts to protect ecosystems. Touton continues to work with farmers and other experts to identify the right shade and fruit-bearing tree species that can boost cocoa yield while diversifying income in a way best suited to every given environment.
  • The number of Village Savings & Loan Associations that Touton has set up this year has more than doubled, to reach close to 1000 local organisations. These associations place farming communities in the driver’s seat to provide access to finance and promote collective thinking on the businesses that can generate extra income at the individual or community level. The success stories collected in the report, especially from youth and women, highlight the spirit of entrepreneurship and creativity that are flourishing alongside cocoa farming!

Key Figures CFI revisedSamson Atwi Agri preneur

Further to these encouraging figures, the report gathers testimonials from all types of actors in the supply chain to exemplify how localised and holistic approaches, based on community engagement, are showing positive impact:

  • The Touton agri-preneur model by which local farmers and youth are trained to deliver agricultural services, tree planting, and forest protection sensitisation is gaining traction amongst Ivorian and Ghanaian farmers.
  • Touton continues to support landscape approaches. The Group joins the Sambirano Valley Landscape project in Madagascar and enrolls in phase 2 of the Cavally Forest one in Cote d’Ivoire to combat deforestation, while strengthening the resilience of cocoa farmers, in the face of climate change.
  • Several pilot programmes initiated by Touton in producing countries explain how local influencers advocate protecting forests and promoting tree planting, notably through Community Forest Protection Committees and Child Ambassador programmes. In Ghana, Touton’s local team also trialed a new type of intervention to address environmental and social issues related to menstrual health.

The Touton group recognises the need for continuous improvement across all three CFI pillars, and beyond, to ensure the long-term sustainability of the cocoa supply. This includes concerted efforts at a precompetitive level to tackle pressing challenges, such as climate change, while ensuring the company’s operations remain compliant.

As the Group finalises its Climate Strategy Roadmap, aligned with Science-Based Initiative targets, Touton keeps reinforcing its multifaceted sustainability activities to deliver holistically on its ambitions.

For more information read our full report, available in English:   CFI Touton progress report 2023 CIV & GH