The world’s top cocoa-producing countries are boycotting a chocolate industry conference in response to companies’ resistance to pay enough for cocoa farmers to earn a living income.
“It is about time”
This week, companies representing around 80% of the global cocoa market are meeting in Brussels for the World Cocoa Foundation partnership meetings on cocoa sustainability. But representatives from the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire have chosen not to attend.
Four civil society organizations from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire came out in support of the governments’ decision. In a public statement, they wrote:
We believe it is about time the world recognized the double standards of multinational cocoa and chocolate industries, especially on cocoa pricing and the deteriorating living conditions of cocoa farmers due to their self-seeking interests and quest to maximize profits without any willingness to distribute profits along the value chain.
Many major chocolate companies have made commitments to a living income for cocoa farmers in their supply chains, but in practice few are willing to significantly raise the amount they pay for cocoa.
Pricing as key to cocoa sustainability
Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire produce around two-thirds of the world’s cocoa supply. However, most cocoa farmers in those countries live far below the poverty line. Farmer poverty is a key driver of exploitation in the cocoa sector, including forced labor and child labor.
How can it be that in an industry of about $130 billion, the farmer only receives only 6% of the profit? We think it is unfair, we think it’s about time we began talking about pricing as the most important issue when it comes to cocoa sustainability.
Join the campaign
The Freedom United community is putting pressure on chocolate companies to raise the price they pay for cocoa to ensure farmers can earn a living income. Join the campaign today – make your voice heard!