GENEVA — Enhancing market transparency and striving for fair cocoa prices were among the goals established as part of the International Cocoa Agreement 2010, which the European Union, 14 exporting countries and 29 importing countries agreed to June 25 at the United Nations Cocoa Conference in Geneva.

The countries involved account for more than 60% of world cocoa consumption and more than 80% of cocoa production.

The agreement replaces the previous pact, which was negotiated in 2001, lasted five years and then was extended through two, two-year extensions. For the first time the International Cocoa Agreement 2010 will last 10 initial years and may be extended for two additional four-year periods.

“The International Cocoa Agreement 2010 is expected to result in major strengthening of cooperation between exporting and importing member countries and in an improvement of their cocoa economies through active and better focused project development and strategies for capacity building,” said the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the International Cocoa Organization (I.C.C.O.). “The new agreement will build on the success of the 2001 agreement, by implementing measures leading to an increase in the income of cocoa farmers and by supporting cocoa producers in improving the functioning of their cocoa economies.

“The new agreement also will deliver cocoa of better quality, take effective account of food safety issues and help establish social, economic, and environmental sustainability, so that farmers are rewarded for producing cocoa that meets ethical and environmental considerations.”

Innovations and changes to the agreement include:
• Implementation of a new organizational structure to enhance the efficiency of the I.C.C.O.;
• Elaboration of clearly defined definitions and objectives for a sustainable cocoa economy;
• Enhancement of market transparency through the collecting, processing and distribution of data from both private and public sources;
• Recognition of the need to strive toward fair cocoa prices;
• Promotion of the quality of cocoa and recognition of the need to develop appropriate food safety procedures in the sector; and
• Clearly defined procedures for the establishment of fine or “flavor” cocoa.