Compliance – Sunbeth Intensifies Efforts to Implement EU’s Policy on Traceability  

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European Union laws are changing. Specifically, the new EU law on deforestation-free products obligates companies to verify and issue a “due diligence” statement that the goods they ship into the EU market have not contributed to indiscriminate deforestation and forest degradation anywhere in the world after 31st December 2020. This law is expected to come into force by 2025 and will restrict companies from selling in the EU unless their supplier has issued the statement.  

Compliance with this new policy requires companies to implement traceability measures that will account for the sources of all their products and the activities involved in the production process. 

For example, at Sunbeth Global Concept, traceability implementation helps us obtain adequate information about the farmers who supply us with cocoa through our intermediaries and their production practices. 

Traceability also gives us an open channel to reach the farmers directly. By taking advantage of this avenue, we actively influence their methods to encourage sustainability and ensure they comply with production regulations and best practices. 

Ripe Cocoa With Farmer in the Background 

What is Traceability? 

The United Nations Compact defines Traceability as; “The ability to identify and trace the history, distribution, location, and application of products, parts, and materials, to ensure the reliability of sustainability claims, in the areas of human rights, labour (including health and safety), the environment and anti-corruption.” 

EU’s Policy on Traceability 

The new European Union laws require companies operating or supplying goods within their jurisdiction to comply with regulations regarding deforestation and sustainable production practices. 

Deforestation alters regional weather patterns and generates carbon emissions, increasing global warming trends. The EUDR has earmarked seven commodities and certain products derived from them to be “deforestation-free” to be sold in the EU market. These products and their affected derivatives include 

  • Cocoa – Cocoa butter, Chocolate 
  • Coffee – Coffee, Coffee substitutes  
  • Cattle – Leather, Meat 
  • Oil Palm – Glycerol, Palm nuts, Palm oil derivatives 
  • Rubber – Pneumatic tires and inner tubes, Apparel made with vulcanized rubber 
  • Wood – Furniture, fuel wood, Casks, Printed books, pulp, and paper 
  • Soya – Soya beans, Soy-bean flour and oil 

To trade these goods, suppliers must provide a due diligence statement showing that the goods are produced under conditions that do not violate the EU’s statutes. 

Of particular interest to Sunbeth Global Concept is the requirement for Cocoa trade in the affected markets. 

Increased demand for cocoa is a significant contributor to deforestation in Nigeria. Between 2000-2005, Nigeria had the highest rate of deforestation in the world at 55.7%, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  

Sunbeth Global Concept (SGC) is committed to tackling deforestation by educating farmers on good agricultural practices and encouraging them to implement measures and practices that foster ecosystem preservation and protect nature.  

In addition, SGCL actively campaigns against worse forms of child labour in Nigeria. Child labour, child abuse, workplace violence, harassment/discrimination, and forced labour are frowned upon by various international bodies, including the European Union, and must be discouraged. 

Through our sustainability department, we have initiated several initiatives to educate farmers on the negatives of Child labour practices. We recently conducted child labour sensitization campaigns in 15 communities across multiple local government areas of Ondo state.  

Read more about the campaign @ Sustainability – Together Against Child Labour 

These activities reflect SGCL’s effort towards traceability and sustainability compliance. All cocoa sourced in SGCL’s Sustainability program is traceable. Data and farm mapping of the farmers in the cocoa business with SGCL are available on the company’s traceability database. These and similar pointers show that Sunbeth Global Concepts remains compliant, transparent, and accountable in all its dealings.  

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