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Swiss bite into cocoa accord

The government has decided to sign the International Cocoa Agreement 2010, which aims to make the global trade fairer and more sustainable.

Announcing the move on Wednesday, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said that that accord also foresaw the improvement of cocoa quality and productivity.

The deal between the world’s leading cocoa-producing and consuming countries was reached earlier this year at the United Nations Cocoa Conference in Geneva.

Members of the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) have agreed to a platform to discuss the sustainable development of the sector. Stronger input will come from the private sector and non-governmental organisations and environmental protection and work conditions will be improved, Seco said in a statement.

In addition, small producers will gain easier access to credit and risk management methods to help protect them from market changes.

Seco said that Switzerland, a major chocolate manufacturer, had long been involved in projects in developing countries to promote a fairer cocoa trade.

The UN estimates the global cocoa trade to be worth $10 billion (SFr9.8 billion). and agencies

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