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EP gives consent to renew the International Cocoa Agreement

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Thursday, 15 March 2012

EP gives consent to renew the International Cocoa Agreement

In January, the International Trade (INTA) Committee recommended the Parliament (EP) to give its consent to a new International Cocoa Agreement and adopted a resolution calling for action against the use of child labour in cocoa fields. Parliament has followed the advice of INTA Committee and recently gave its consent to renew the agreement. Likewise it took the opportunity to raise awareness of the problem of child labour and child trafficking in the sector.
In a debate with Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs before the vote, rapporteur Vital Moreira said that  the new International Cocoa Agreement would give them "more instruments to address this issue", although "more needs to be done". "All policymakers and stakeholders involved in cocoa production must live up to their responsibilities to eradicate child labour from cocoa production,” he added.
According to the EP Press service, West Africa produces 70% of the world's cocoa and employs 7.5 million people in the sector. Extracting cocoa seeds is highly labour-intensive, since mechanical cutting often damages the seeds.

Source: European Parliament