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Ghana and Ivory Coast Create Joint Body To Coordinate Cocoa Policies

The world’s two largest cocoa producers, Ghana and Ivory Coast, have created a joint body to improve coordination in research, price-setting and the fight against child labour, the Ivorian government said.

The two countries have coordinated action on some of these matters before, but the new organisation marks a formal step towards closer ties.

The Initiative Cacao Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana (ICCIG) will promote their cocoa industries internationally and defend their collective position in the global market, the Ivorian government said in a statement.

The organisation will allow the two countries to formalise an agreement, started three years ago, whereby they both announce farmgate prices at the start of the growing season on 1 October.

The measure is aimed at reducing smuggling across their shared border. Last year they raised the guaranteed price they pay cocoa farmers to roughly US$1.50 per kilogram for the 2019/20 main crop harvest.

They also introduced a minimum price floor to address a perceived imbalance between farmers’ incomes and money made by big commodities traders.

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Show of power On 12 June 2019, Ghana and Ivory Coast announced a floor price of U$2,600 per tonne of cocoa beans for the 2019/20 cocoa season.

The floor price is meant to ease the pervasive farmer poverty that has become a blight on chocolate’s image and a threat to the sector’s future in West Africa.

Many young people are walking away from cocoa farming, seeing it as a life of back-breaking labour with little reward. The two countries also announced a suspension of forward sales of beans for the 2020/21 season.

The historic move was seen as a “show of power” by the two countries, which jointly produce roughly 60% of all cocoa beans.

Meanwhile, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, chief executive of COCOBOD, has offered assurances of better producer prices for farmers in Ghana.

Seventy per cent of the floor price will be given directly to the farmers for their produce sold to licensed buying companies.

 

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Source Reuters
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