Home » Cocoa Farmers Demand Fair Price as Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire Face Pressure from Buyers

Cocoa Farmers Demand Fair Price as Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire Face Pressure from Buyers

by Victor Adetimilehin

Cocoa farmers in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s two largest producers of the crop, are calling for a higher price for their beans in the upcoming 2023-24 season. They say the current price is not enough to cover their costs and ensure a decent living income. They also accuse some buyers of trying to undermine their efforts to secure a fair deal.

In 2023, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire introduced a Living Income Differential (LID) policy, which added a premium of $400 per tonne on all cocoa sales. The aim was to guarantee their farmers a fixed price of $1,820 per tonne, which would translate into a 20% to 30% increase in the farm gate price. The policy was hailed as a historic step to address the poverty and exploitation faced by cocoa farmers.

However, the LID policy has faced resistance from some buyers, who have reduced their purchases or sought cheaper sources from other countries. Some buyers have also delayed signing contracts for the next season, hoping that the two governments will lower the price due to the oversupply and low demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has put pressure on the two countries, which rely heavily on cocoa revenues for their budgets.

In response, civil society organisations representing cocoa farmers in both countries have issued a joint statement, demanding that their governments maintain or increase the price for the next season. They also urged them to ensure transparency and accountability in the distribution of the LID funds, and to invest more in improving the infrastructure and services for cocoa communities. They warned that if the price is not raised, farmers will continue to smuggle their beans to neighbouring countries where they can get a better deal, or abandon cocoa farming altogether.

The civil society organisations also called on the international community, especially chocolate companies and consumers, to support their cause and demand ethical and sustainable cocoa production. They said that cocoa farmers deserve a fair share of the profits from the chocolate industry, which is worth billions of dollars. They also said that paying a living income to cocoa farmers is not only a moral obligation, but also a strategic investment in ensuring the future of the cocoa sector and its contribution to global food security.

Source: Confectionary News

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