Chocolats Halba at the 74th UN General Assembly
by Hanspeter Huber
Petra Heid of Chocolats Halba (4th from left) at the panel at UN headquarters in New York.
Last Thursday Chocolats Halba presented its commitment to sustainability at the UN headquarters in New York. Petra Heid, Head of Sustainability, was invited to a panel on sustainable value chains as a representative of a lead firm. The event took place as part of the 74th UN General Assembly (17-30 September 2019).
The discussion entitled "Alliances for Action: Partnerships for transformative value chains" was organised by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in Geneva. For Chocolats Halba, ITC is a central partner in the "Sankofa" project in Ghana. For the first time in the world, this project combines cocoa cultivation in dynamic agroforestry with climate compensation according to the "Gold Standard". The aim is to improve the livelihoods of 17,400 community members by 2023.
"A project of this size and complexity can only succeed if committed partners work together," Petra Heid said in her speech before ITC Executive Director Arancha González and political decision-makers from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. "Firstly, Chocolats Halba is a small player in the international cocoa business and depends on help with fundraising - despite the generous support of the parent company Coop. Secondly, we carry out sustainability projects in several countries and cannot be present around the clock everywhere. We need reliable partners on the ground".
Alliances for Action - together for sustainable development
In the Sankofa project, ITC is responsible for project management, i.e. the coordination of the various measures, the employees or the logistics. It is an engagement within the initiative "Alliances for Action", with which ITC has been bringing together private and public actors since 2017 in order to strengthen small-scale farmers, processors and manufacturers in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
The project "Alliances for Sankofa" is supported by the Coop Sustainability Fund and Chocolats Halba, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Max Havelaar Foundation Switzerland. It is implemented by ITC together with the smallholder cooperative Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union (KKFU) and partners including the Government of Ghana, Fairtrade Africa, WWF Switzerland and the Yam Development Council. Technical support to the project is provided by Ecotop Suisse GmbH, South Pole Group and the Nature and Development Foundation (NDF).
Petra Heid of Chocolats Halba (on the right) with partners of "Alliances for Action".