COTE D’IVOIRE – Fair Trade USA and PUR Project have partnered to end deforestation in cocoa supply chain and develop community-driven agroforestry projects within Fair Trade supply chains in Côte d’Ivoire.

Cote d’Ivoire is said to have lost about 85% of its forest since 1960s due to agricultural expansion and this would likely affect its global footprint in ensuring a safe environment.

The two will set up a training and monitoring program to equip cocoa producers with skills equipped to revitalize and protect their land in a bid to reduce the chances of farming in protected forests.

In addition, producers will be educated on the use of key infrastructure, capacity to implement agroforestry projects, income diversification to promote not only quality but also value for cocoa.

To enhance sustainable development, PUR Projet has entered an agreement with Fair Trade USA, a non-profit organization, that sets standards, certifies, and labels products that promote sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers and protect the environment.

PUR Projet helps companies compensate their carbon emission via insetting and agroforestry.

“The partnership provides the opportunity to leverage Fair Trade USA’s extensive experience in empowering and building institutional capacity with local cocoa-producing communities in the region while integrating PUR Projet’s model for community-based ecosystem restoration and conservation,” said Andrew Nobrega, Director North America/UK at PUR Projet.

Fair Trade helps in developing rigorous, independently audited standards for sourcing and trading, protecting human rights, prevent forced and child labor, establish safe working conditions, and enable responsible natural resource management.

According to Ken Redding, Chief Commercial Officer at Fair Trade USA, PUR Projet’s model of community-led agroforestry was a wonderful complement to the Fair Trade program.