Poverty is a root cause of all sustainability problems in the cocoa sector. Most cocoa farmers in West Africa are currently unable to earn a living income.
For years, the sector has tried implementing technical solutions – i.e. increasing productivity, income diversification and increasingly fostering financial inclusion through Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) – to tackle what is essentially a political problem. To date, these efforts have not met success at scale.
The cocoa sector is finally starting to discuss the price paid to cocoa farmers for their produce, including the Farm Gate Prices, which has been a taboo subject for a long time. Moreover, the question of value and power distribution in the chain is also increasingly on the agenda in the cocoa industry.
This conversation is only getting started and will require all stakeholders to be involved. With this webinar, we wish to contribute to the much-needed discussion on what political, in addition to technical, measures will be needed to ensure a living income for cocoa farmers.
We are convinced that any discussion on the (sustainable) future of the sector needs to be inclusive of all voices, and therefore pleased to welcome a representative of cocoa farmers in Ghana.
Cocoa Barometer 2020
The webinar will take place shortly after the publication of the 2020 Cocoa Barometer, a publication by the Voice Network, a global consortium of civil society organisations working on sustainability in cocoa. Antonie Fountain from the Voice Network will present the main outcomes of the new Cocoa Barometer
The Rainforest Alliance has supported the Landscape Management Board (LMB) in the Juaboso-Bia in the Western Region with an amount of US$18,000.
The grant will support 2000 smallholder families of the Climate Cocoa Cooperative Union affected by COVID-19 and relief for 200 vulnerable members who were directly affected by a rainstorm disaster in April 2020.
Interview with Cathy Pieters, Mendelez, on a new research with Wageningen University about Living Income.
'We estimate the annual income gap for cocoa farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire at $10Bn (calculated by focusing on enabling 75% of cocoa farming households, a clear majority, to reach a Living Income). Based on our analysis and data, we outline in this paper a reality where no single intervention, or interventions by any single actor within the sector, can create the transformational change needed to build the healthy rural economy necessary to support Living Income for all farming households.'