Chocolate is one of the UK’s favourite foods. The farmers growing cocoa however, do not reap the rewards of its popularity, with many experiencing extreme poverty. Together with farmers and businesses, Fairtrade is working for a fairer future.
Millions of cocoa farmers work extremely hard, under gruelling conditions, yet do not earn a living income. On average, cocoa farmers earn just 6% of the final value of a bar of chocolate.
When terms of trade don’t work for cocoa farmers it exacerbates poverty and contributes to persistent problems like discrimination, exploitation and deforestation, which threaten the future of cocoa farming communities and the future of cocoa itself.
Fairtrade sets social, economic and environmental standards for both companies and farmers and workers. For companies that includes paying a fair price for the produce, for farmers it includes workers’ rights and protection of the environment.
Cocoa farmers are already experiencing the effects of the climate crisis, through unpredictable weather patterns and new crop-threatening diseases and pests. In addition, due to the poor returns for significant labour, the younger generation are choosing careers outside of farming, which also threatens the future of cocoa.
Only Fairtrade focuses on sustainable pricing, with the safety net of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and the additional Fairtrade Premium, going further than any other certification label.
The Fairtrade standards and the Fairtrade Premium are proven to limit the risks caused by the volatility of the market, with farmers more able to develop their businesses and invest in their communities.
What is Fairtrade doing in the UK?
Fairtrade is working hard to push the chocolate sector to address the challenges that threaten the long term sustainability of cocoa.
Fairtrade is supporting cocoa farming co-operatives in their push for living incomes and better terms of trade for their cocoa farmers.
Since 2019, our Living Income campaign has set out to put living incomes on the public and policy agenda, and to shine a light on the inequalities faced by women cocoa farmers.
What you can do
Together we can all play our part in creating the world we want to see – one in which people are paid fairly for their work and earn a living income.
Fairtrade is a movement for positive change, with thousands of activist supporters and local campaigner groups across the UK.
When you buy Fairtrade chocolate, you know that the farmers were paid a fair price for the cocoa. You are casting a vote with your wallet, signalling to businesses and the Government that fair and just trade matters. You are helping to protect the future of chocolate.
The story of chocolate
This film explores the unfairness at the heart of the chocolate industry. It specifically focuses on women cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and the role of women in community development.
Women cocoa farmers do the lion’s share of work on cocoa farms in West Africa but often receive little reward. Find out more about the experience of women cocoa farmers through our interactive long read – The New Queens of Cocoa.
Our Cocoa Farmers
CAYAT is a cocoa and coffee farming co-operative, based around the towns of Adzopé and Yakassé-Attobrou in the South East of Côte d’Ivoire.
CONACADO is a union of cocoa co-operatives in the Dominican Republic whose cocoa is sold to Fairtrade and other export markets.
Five primary co-operatives came together on 26 August 2004 to form the Entreprise Coopérative Kimbre, known as ECOOKIM.
Kuapa Kokoo is located in Kumasi, at the centre of the cocoa growing region in the West of Ghana.
Rosine Bekoin is a mum of five, cocoa farmer and member of CAYAT co-operative in Côte d’Ivoire.