The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) has been awarded a grant that could eventually help the entire cocoa industry make cocoa production more environmentally friendly.

The money — from the Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Program (BACP) of the International Finance Corp. — will help the foundation collect more data, which will then lead to developing better cocoa biodiversity indicators.

Moreover, all of the data will be shared publicly, which will help keep decision makers informed as they create future programs and policies in cocoa production.

“Supporting biodiversity in cocoa production has long been a core value of WCF,” says Bill Guyton, WCF president. “With a commonly agreed upon set of biodiversity indicators, we will be able to meaningfully measure environmental benefits across the sector.”

Specifically, the money will fund surveying the number of native tree species under shade canopy, the number of hectares of native vegetation on cocoa farms, and the average shade canopy density in cocoa fields.

The grant will continue to support the collection of cocoa biodiversity indicators in the cocoa sector through WCF’s CocoaMAP, a subscription-based website that compiles data to track global cocoa sustainability efforts.

The WCF is an international membership foundation that promotes a sustainable cocoa economy by providing cocoa farmers with the tools they need to grow more and better cocoa, market it successfully, and make greater profits.The foundation’s membership includes cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80 percent of the global cocoa market.