The International Cocoa Agreement, which replaces the existing 2001 agreement, will be in force for 10 years and can be extended twice for additional two-year periods. The new agreement sets objectives for a sustainable cocoa economy, recognises the need for fair cocoa prices and equitable returns, promotes quality and develops food safety procedures. It also aims to strengthen the role of the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO). The organisation collects, processes and distributes market data and works together with industry and NGOs. ICCO members represent 85% of world cocoa production and more than 60% of consumption. Exporters and importers hold identical shares in its highest governing body, with the EU as a single party holding over half of importing members' votes.
Following the Lisbon Treaty, Parliament must grant consent before the agreement is concluded by the Council. The international trade committee, which is the committee responsible, recommends approving the agreement. MEPs will discuss the agreement this afternoon and vote on it tomorrow.