Cocoa Life

Fairtrade is working in partnership with Cocoa Life meaning that as a result, in the UK, five times as much Cadbury chocolate will now be made with sustainably sourced cocoa.


Mary Opoku drying cocoa beans

Ninety per cent of the world’s cocoa is grown on small family farms by about 6 million farmers who earn their living from growing and selling cocoa beans. Although cocoa is always in demand, prices can move up and down very fast, leaving cocoa farmers unable to plan for the future. Add in the uncertainty of the effects of climate change – disease, pests, natural disasters – and there’s a lot cocoa farmers are up against.  Only a small percentage of the world’s cocoa is Fairtrade, so we need to do more to work with cocoa farmers to achieve big change. We are scaling up our work, looking for new ways to reach more cocoa farming communities and ensure more cocoa farmers get a better deal, through partnerships such as Cocoa Life.

Cocoa Life is more than simply improving cocoa yields. It’s about finding ways to support farmers to diversify their incomes, and invest in education, infrastructure or healthcare to make cocoa farming communities more secure for years to come. Simply growing more cocoa and getting a better price for it isn't the final answer to tackling the inequalities in the cocoa supply chain. That's why we're using our expertise on making cocoa farmers better able to tackle climate change. With independent verification of Cocoa Life’s supply chains carried out by FLOCERT, the quantity of sustainable cocoa and the payments to farmer organisations will be tracked and transparent.

Cocoa Life commits to a $400m investment by 2022 to reach 200,000 cocoa farmers (and 1 million community members) and their communities in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, India and Brazil. 

In the UK, it will mean that five times as much Cadbury chocolate will be made with sustainably sourced cocoa. Part of our partnership is that we will hold Mondelez to account on its commitments, so we will be publishing our first annual report on the impact of the partnership in summer 2018.

Initially my cocoa farm used to be very poor but through Fairtrade and Cocoa Life project the community members [and] the women’s group can see that there has been a change in my farm… I used to educate them about how important it is that we should join the group

Beatrice Boakye

Asuadai co-operative, Ghana

Beatrice Boakye Cocoa farmer, Ghana 

"We are proud to have worked closely with Cadbury since 2009 to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities. But the reality is that life for too many cocoa farmers remains a daily struggle against poverty, whilst their communities still lack many essential services and climate change poses increasing threats to their livelihoods and future.

The evolution of our partnership with Cadbury and Cocoa Life has put Fairtrade’s values, principles and unique relationships with farmer networks into the whole programme. In doing so, together we can increase the scale and impact of Cocoa Life, towards a common goal – one in which cocoa farmers, their organisations and communities are empowered, can invest in their own futures, and go from just surviving, to thriving."

Mike Gidney

Chief Executive, Fairtrade Foundation