Nicolas del Rosario cuts down a cocoa fruit.

‘A blow to farmers’: Fairtrade responds to fall in cocoa purchase prices in Côte d’Ivoire

Commenting on the drop in the price of cocoa paid to farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, Fairtrade’s Senior Cocoa Advisor Jon Walker says:

“The new Ivorian farm gate cocoa price is a blow to cocoa farmers, 18 percent below the October 2020 harvest value. This price is too low to alleviate poverty, much less build toward a living income for farmers. Farmers and their families suffer when cocoa is cheap.

“There will be no sustainable cocoa until farmers and their families are earning a living income. Cheap cocoa is a false economy for the $100 billion chocolate industry, leading to endless discussions and initiatives about sustainability which are rooted in the low price of cocoa and low income of farmers.

“The reality is, Fairtrade cocoa farmers are doing their best to farm ecologically, follow through on human rights and create strong, viable and representative cooperatives which we are proud to support through our West Africa Cocoa Programme, and through our living income prices and projects with some leading brands and retailers.

“Ivorian Fairtrade certified cooperatives will continue to earn the Fairtrade Minimum Price for cocoa. This means for every tonne of cocoa sold on Fairtrade terms an additional $121.70 per tonne will be paid to farmers, making up some of the farmers’ losses. In addition, the $240 Fairtrade Premium per tonne is paid, which coops and their farmer members choose how to invest to benefit their businesses and communities.

“But it’s not good enough for only some farmers to have this safety net. All chocolate companies and retailers as well as governments, supported by consumers and farmers, need to take up their responsibility for the steps needed for cocoa farmers to earn a living income, which is after all a human right.

“Our West Africa Cocoa Programme evaluation shows the progress in Fairtrade cooperatives. We believe strong, viable and representative cooperatives combined with fair prices, premiums and long term contracts are critical elements of a sustainable cocoa and chocolate sector.”