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Meridian Institute

Driving Action for the Cocoa & Forests Initiative

Related: Environment and Natural Resources

The Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) was launched in 2017 to convene and mobilize cocoa companies and West African governments to enact a joint public–private commitment toward ending deforestation and land degradation while also improving smallholder farmers’ livelihoods. Meridian Institute has provided the World Bank Group and the World Cocoa Foundation with strategic design, advisory, and facilitation services to promote cross-sector collaboration to advance the CFI’s goals in Ghana and Ivory Coast.

Meridian’s leadership has helped companies that have committed to remove deforestation from their cocoa supply chain to communicate with investors such as the World Bank to explore synergies and opportunities to leverage mutual investments to scale efforts in common geographies. In 2018, Meridian and Climate Focus co-organized in-person consultations with a dozen companies in Ghana and Ivory Coast. The consultations highlighted opportunities as well as potential pitfalls, including companies’ inclination to “wait and see” how the governments implement their CFI commitments instead of working in parallel to meet key deadlines. Meridian has been asked to convene additional bilateral conversations between companies and investors in the coming months to broker collaborative agreements.