The world’s top two cocoa producers, Ivory Coast and Ghana have agreed on a common position on the future of sustainability and certification programmes in the cocoa sector.
Their joint decision arrived at during a 2-day Abidjan meeting is to be announced at the World Cocoa Foundation Partnership Meeting on October 23, 2019, in Berlin Germany.
A statement issued Thursday evening said a Joint Technical Committee “are re-examining all sustainability and certification programmes for the 2019/20 season.”
According to the statement, “a firm decision on the continuation or discontinuation of ALL sustainability and certification programmes will be communicated to stakeholders by the leaderships of Le Conseil du Café-Cacao and Ghana Cocoa Board at the World Cocoa Foundation Partnership meeting in Berlin”, which opens from October 23 – 24, 2019.
This is said to be a reaction to the decision of some buyers and chocolate companies to pursue sustainability programmes with selected cocoa farmers and farming communities, rather than buying into living income differential introduced by Ghana and Ivory Coast for farmers.
The statement observed although some buyers on the market have shown “strong commitment” by buying the 2020/2021 crop year which has the 400-Dollar LID, others are yet are “focusing more on their sustainability programmes at the expense of the LID, which rather has a more direct positive impact on all cocoa farmers.”
The development comes in the wake of the pressing need by the two countries to improve the living conditions of farmers and cocoa farming communities through fair prices for their produce, in order to curtail environmental and social challenges including child labour.
Ghana and Ivory Coast earlier this year introduced a 400-dollar Living Income Differential on every tonne of cocoa sold as part of a common floor price mechanism to ensure farmers earned more for their work.
“It is worth noting that while the LID focuses on the livelihoods of all cocoa farmers without exception, the sustainability programmes being implemented by the brands only affect a selected few farmers”, the Cocobod statement explained.
Cocobod said the LID based on floor price mechanism has been understood by all players of the cocoa value chain as a perfect system for achieving a decent income for all cocoa farmers without exception.