Valentine’s Post from Ghana for all Chocolate Lovers

Dear chocolate lovers,

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you spend this day with the people you love, enjoying delicious chocolates in between. My name is Leticia Yankey, a cocoa farmer from Ghana. I am writing this letter in Amsterdam, where I will be attending the Amsterdam Cocoa Week from February 6 to 11, 2024.

At this conference, I met several stakeholders in the cocoa industry. I now realize how big and profitable the cocoa market is for European companies.

Many key industry players highlight the problems in the cocoa sector, but rarely from the perspective of a cocoa farmer, let alone a female cocoa farmer.

That’s why I’m here to make my voice heard, together with cocoa farmers from Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Latin America.

We are often blamed for problems such as deforestation or child labour. Unjustified, I know from my own experience.

I am a mother myself, and I am sure that no cocoa farmer wants to ruin their child’s childhood. Nor do cocoa farmers want to damage nature because most of them grew up close to forests or nature parks.

Both issues are symptoms of a major problem that affects all cocoa farmers: unfair prices. We have no say in the price of our cocoa beans.

Sometimes the production costs are even higher than the final yield of our cocoa beans. The little profit is just enough to support our family.

In addition, there is always great pressure to produce as many cocoa beans as possible, without taking into account the risks for farmers. This pressure means that uninformed farmers sometimes clear forests or employ their relatives to work.

This Valentine’s Day, I see with my own eyes the marketing surrounding chocolate products in the Netherlands.

Heart-shaped chocolates can be found everywhere in supermarkets, shops, and cafes. It gives me a good feeling that the end product of our cocoa is so popular and is really part of your culture. The Dutch love for chocolate is in the air!

But while you’re enjoying your chocolate, chocolate companies are making huge profits. Last year, the assets of the two largest family businesses in chocolate rose to 39 billion dollars (33 billion euros).

Together, they are worth approximately 157 billion dollars (equal to 139 billion euros).

We are happy that the chocolate companies that buy our beans make a profit. But we would be even happier if they shared their profits with us, by paying a fair price for our cocoa beans and sharing the risks.

We have the right to a living income. I am a proud cocoa farmer and love my work as much as you love chocolate! We hope you will share that love with us and cocoa farmers in other countries. 

Therefore, share this letter with family and friends. Because love is also about solidarity. I believe that the more consumers are informed about the truth behind chocolate production, the more we farmers will be supported in our fight for fair prices. So please pass on the love and this message!

With kind regards,


Click here to SUPPORT this campaign with Oxfam Novib!

Cocoa FarmerCocoa MmaaEuropeFemale cocoa farmerLeticia YankeyLiving IncomeNetherlandsOxfamValentine's DayWorld Chocolate Day
Comments (0)
Add Comment