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Voice of Cocoa

Ghana And Ivory Coast Reviewing FCC Membership, Exit CMAA

...amidst Hershey LID avoidance row

The world’s top two cocoa producers have cancelled their membership of the Cocoa Merchants Association of America (CMAA) amidst a row with chocolate manufacturers, according to Reuters.

Ghana and Ivory Coast have accused the CMAA of aiding American chocolate companies to avoid the payment of the Living Income Differential (LID).

The LID, a US$400 per tonne premium was introduced by the two West African neighbours in June 2019 aimed at tackling cocoa farmer poverty.

According to Reuters, a document had sighted claimed the Cocoa Merchants Association of America (CMAA) is “condoning and conniving with American companies against poor West African cocoa farmers” by avoiding the premium.

Spokespersons for the Ivorian and Ghanaian cocoa regulators, COCOCBOD and CCC, are reported to have verified the document’s authenticity.

Meanwhile, Ghana and Ivory Coast have hinted that they are reviewing their membership of the UK-based Federation of Cocoa Commerce (FCC), giving a very strong indication they do not take lightly attempts to sabotage the LID.

The FCC is an international organisation that aims to promote, protect and regulate the global cocoa trade.

Earlier in February, Ghana announced plans to start paying the LID effective October 1, when the 2020/21 cocoa beans buying season was scheduled to commence.

Cocoa farmers in the two West African countries, who produce about 70% of the world’s cocoa, hoped to begin receiving the Living Income Differential premium added to their farmgate payments.

The new premium is meant to support cocoa farmers in both Ghana and Ivory Coast to tackle pervasive farmer poverty.

To ensure that cocoa farmers in the two countries become the sole beneficiaries of the US$400 LID, measures are being initiated to ensure its implementation.

First, COCOBOD and major stakeholders are in the process of preparing a document to be sent to parliament to legislate the premium.

Besides, the two countries have also signed a charter to put in place a secretariat mandated to monitor the passing on of the entire US$400 per tonne LID directly to cocoa farmers.

Kojo Hayford
Source Cocoa Post
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