Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the global leaders in cocoa production, have raised the premium that chocolate manufacturers and trading companies pay for their cocoa. The increase is part of wider efforts to reduce farmer poverty, which in turn helps to address child labor and trafficking.
Moving out of negative numbers
Ghana has increased its premium (or origin differential) to 20 pounds per tonne from –50 pounds per tonne in July, Ghana’s cocoa regulator Cocobod announced.
Meanwhile, in Côte d’Ivoire’s Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) raised its origin differential to zero from -125 pounds per tonne in July.
As part of the Cote d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGCI), the two West African countries decided earlier this year to jointly publish their origin differentials each month.
Towards a living income for cocoa farmers
This increase is part of a wider strategy to raise the income of cocoa farmers who currently earn on average less than US$1.20 per day, with women farmers earning just 50 cents per day.
In recent years, negative origin differentials have reduced the effectiveness of other policies targeting farmer poverty, such as the $400 Living Income Differential (LID), which was established in 2019.
Quoted in Reuters, Alex Assanvo, executive secretary of the CIGCI, said:
Our ambition is to no longer sell cocoa with a negative premium. It is to ensure that our producers receive a decent and remunerative income for their cocoa and to achieve this, the origin differential must once again be positive and the LID also applied.
Call on chocolate companies to step up
In the face of poverty, farmers often turn to practices which are harmful for the environment to increase their yields and seek cheaper labor sources, including children.
For this reason, we will not be able to eradicate hazardous child labor and trafficking from major chocolate supply chains until farmers are earning a living income.
The Freedom United community is calling for chocolate companies to take on the responsibility of securing a living income for the farmers that supply them with cocoa.
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