The Ministry of Environment (Ministère de la Transition écologique et solidaire) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministère de l’Europe at des affaires étrangères) represent the French government in the AD Partnership.
The French national working group on tropical Forests (Groupe National sur les Forêts Tropicales-GNFT), a multi-stakeholder platform established in 2002, has received the mandate to implement the AD milestones in France. A French national strategy to eliminate deforestation from national supply chains is being drawn up.
France is Europe’s third largest grinder but with a much smaller market share (9%; grinding by Cargill, Barry Callebaut and Valrhona). France is considered a premium market with a preference for speciality and dark chocolate. French market demand for certified cocoa is small but grew with 72% between 2012 and 2015. In 2017, France imported mainly cocoa from Africa: Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroon. In addition, a significant amount also comes from within the EU. Cocoa will become part of the recently established French Alliance for Preservation of Tropical Forests.
In 2014, the French chocolate industry, in partnership with the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), the French Development Agency and the Ivorian government, signed an agreement to support the creation of an origin label for Ivorian cocoa. The label was launched in Abidjan in 2016, with the intent to improve social, economic and environmental aspects of the cocoa value chain in Ivory Coast.
Several French companies joined the global Cocoa & Forests Initiative.
The French national alliance (Alliance française pour une Huile de Palme Durable) was established in 2013 and is part of the European Sustainable Palm Oil initiative. The alliance includes individual companies as well as national associations for food industries. The goal is to develop and expand the use of sustainable palm oil, which prevents deforestation, is environmentally friendly and respects local populations. The members (15) committed to 100% RSPO certified palm oil and its derivatives by 2015. They have also committed to even stricter conditions for 100% of their supplies by 2020. The alliance will become part of the recently established French Alliance for Preservation of Tropical Forests.
Together with Indonesia and Malaysia, France launched the SALSA (Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes in Southeast Asia) partnership platform. This platform is dedicated to the analysis of perennial crop systems sustainability throughout the region. The launch of this ambitious scientific platform, in which training will be a pivotal component, was formalized by the signing of two multilateral agreements, under the patronage of the French Head of State, in the presence of the Prime Minister of the Malaysian Government and the President of the Republic of Indonesia.
In 2016, France imported 51% of its soy directly from Brazil and 8% from Argentina. Significant amounts were also imported from Belgium, the Netherlands and USA (7%) Two French companies – BEL Group and Danone – have individual soya commitments. Soya will become part of the recently established French Alliance for Preservation of Tropical Forests (based on the French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil, see above).