I share concerns about ensuring that cocoa is ethically sourced and sustainable; steps are being taken to promote transparency in supply chains.
The Modern Slavery Act, passed in 2015, requires large businesses to publish an annual statement explaining what they have done to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains. Ministers are also working with Fairtrade to develop "Fairtrace", a supply chain mapping tool that gives consumers more information about where the products they buy come from.
Farmers should be paid a fair living income. I welcome Fairtrade's recent announcement that, as part of a wider strategy to work towards a living income for producers, it is introducing a higher Fairtrade Minimum Price for cocoa and will increase the Fairtrade Premium that goes to farmers.
My colleagues are working to ensure fair trade with cocoa producers continues after we leave the EU. Discussions they are having with cocoa-producing countries aim to replicate the effects of the EU's trade agreements the UK currently participates in and to continue to provide duty-free access to the UK for cocoa, enabling the exports of these developing countries to flourish.
The UK also funds the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, which tackles deforestation. Already, governments together with cocoa industries in Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, and Colombia have joined the Initiative and made a public commitment to end deforestation associated with cocoa production.
The UK has a continuing commitment to driving out slavery from supply chains, and ensuring a fair, sustainable cocoa industry.