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Farmers get more money for Fairtrade cocoa

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Cocoa farmers Ivory Coast
Cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast. Symbol picture © Shutterstock/BOULENGER Xavier

Fairtrade International has raised the minimum price for fair trade cocoa. But that is not enough for a decent life.

In October 2019, the minimum price for Fair Trade cocoa is to rise from the current USD 2,000 to USD 2,400 (EUR 2,100) per tonne. Buyers would then have to pay 2,700 dollars (2370 euros) for fair organic cocoa. In addition, there is a Fairtrade surcharge of 10% for each project. The minimum price is always paid if the market price is still lower. Currently, one tonne of conventional cocoa costs only 1,750 euros.

Increase to counter price decline for cocoa

With this price adjustment, the international Fairtrade movement reacted to the fall in cocoa prices, which is hitting West African small farmers particularly hard. At the same time, it is a step towards a broader fair trade strategy to enable cocoa farmers to earn living wages, writes Fairtrade International. A study found that 58% of Fairtrade-certified small farmers in Ivory Coast earned incomes below the extreme poverty line.

The minimum price is not sufficient for a living wage

In parallel to the minimum prices, Fairtrade International has also identified a reference price that cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast and Ghana would need to receive in order to earn living wage. It is once again well above the minimum prices that apply to the purchase at the port (point of export) and not to the purchase directly from the farmer (farm gate price).

Development organization demands guaranteed minimum price

The Inkota development organisation welcomed the increase in the minimum price. "If chocolate companies were serious about sustainability, they would have to be willing to pay more for cocoa," Inkota wrote, calling on the two other major cocoa certification organizations, Utz and Rainforest Alliance, to finally introduce a guaranteed minimum price.

 

Please also read:

New Fair Trade Charter: How world trade can work for all

The global Fair Trade movement has published a new International Fair Trade Charter. The charter determines the fundamental values of Fair Trade and defines a common vision for the implementation of the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.

Naturland demands fair wages for cocoa farmers

Cocoa is the main source of income for over five million smallholders, mostly from West Africa. At the fourth World Cocoa Conference from 22nd to 25th April, 1,500 players from the cocoa industry met to exchange views and also to discuss the working conditions for cocoa farmers.

Eosta: Pilot project on living wages

Are minimum wages a useful concept for sustainability? To find an answer, the Dutch company Eosta, together with IDH - The Sustainable Trade Initiative and Hivos, has carried out a pilot project on living wages with Kenyan organic avocado farmers.


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