Since its inception in 2015, the 2030 Agenda for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) has provided a blueprint for shared prosperity in a sustainable world — a world where all people live productive, vibrant, and peaceful lives on a healthy planet. With less than a decade to go, we need to ask if we are laying the right foundation to achieve the SDGs. How “SDG-smart” are we? How aware are we of the production, trade and financing of commodities that are widely consumed? This case provides an overview of the cocoa sector, its supply chain and structural abuses, challenging the audience to reflect upon their SDG awareness and how they – be they consumers or producers – can do better and how the leaders of tomorrow can bring about sustainable change. The case uses a novel format using a slide set only. The slide set has six parts, starting with introducing the cocoa sector and the issues of poverty, child labour and deforestation. It is followed by the current practices to tackle these issues, namely industry sustainability initiatives and third-party certification programs. It concludes with different components that allow for further in-depth discussion. The final discussion question is about what you as a leader of tomorrow would do differently to bring about true impact. This should prompt the audience to think critically about what they would do. Here, many different components can be considered and the case handles some of them: • Responsible consumption and production. • How can governments and legislation play a role? • How can emerging technologies help? • What role can be played by social impact companies? Can they drive change in the sector?

Teaching objectives

. Understand how the cocoa supply chain is linked to the SDGs. Have a knowledge of the cocoa supply chain, the main players, and the economic model, notably where power is concentrated and income distributed. . Be able to explain the consequences for smallholder farmers and grasp the magnitude of these issues. Be aware that SDG 12: “responsible consumption and production” has a central role to play in the cocoa supply chain. Be more discerning (as consumers) about responsible consumption of chocolate, e.g., certified cocoa. . Cast a critical eye on third-party certification and sustainability initiatives, and be wary of “greenwashing”. Identify the components that play a role in the cocoa supply chain and formulate ideas for how to best have a truly have sustainable impact.

  • Cocoa
  • Certification
  • West-Africa
  • Company Sustainability Programs
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Legislation
  • UN SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • Social Impact Companies
  • Deforestation
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Child Labour
  • Sustainable Impact
  • Poverty
  • Commodity Supply Chains
  • Q22021
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