Ivory Coast and Ghana To Name And Shame Chocolate Firms Evading LID
Ivory Coast and Ghana are escalating action against cocoa buyers refusing to pay a $400-per-tonne Living Income Differential (LID) with a threat to name and shame top chocolate brands undermining the scheme.
The two leading cocoa producers seem frustrated as some cocoa buyers are reportedly avoiding payment of the fee agreed to help tackle extreme poverty among millions of cocoa growers.
“While they are paying (the LID) on the right hand, they are taking the money from the left hand by not paying the country premium,” Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the chief executive of Ghana Cocoa Board, said in Abidjan.
“Once the country differential is discounted by between 100 and 250 pounds sterling ($348.25), it means essentially the LID has been eroded,” Mr Aidoo explained.
According to him consumers buy brand chocolates and pay the premium price for chocolate which should go to the farmers, Reuters reported.
“This amounts to robbing the consumers by collecting premium on bars of chocolate and then refusing to pay when buying cocoa beans,” Aidoo said quite indignant.
“Very soon the buyers may force us to name and shame all those who are not paying the country premium,” he threatened.
Aidoo was addressing journalists in the Ivorian capital after a formal event to launch the Initiative Cacao Côte d’Ivoire Ghana (ICCIG) an organisation meant to enforce implementation of the LID among other policies agreed under the cocoa cooperation between the two cocoa superpowers.
His Ivorian counterpart, the director-general of Conseil Cafe Cacao, Yves Brahima Kone, was of the opinion cocoa buyers were putting profits ahead of tackling a key sustainability issue as decent income for farmers.
“They want to make money today and do not think about tomorrow,” adding that while the chocolate makers are reluctant to pay the LID which could cost around $900 million globally, the industry was spending $5 billion on marketing.
Ghana and Ivory Coast, two neighbouring West African states, produce over 60% of the world’s cocoa supply but receive only $6billion of the over $130billion per annum cocoa-chocolate industry.
Their cooperation on cocoa, which commenced in 2017, is aimed at ensuring the payment of a fair price for the commodity, the main ingredient in chocolate.
Ivory Coast’s Alex Arnaud Assanvo, a former Mars Inc top executive, is the Executive Secretary of the organisation with headquarters in Accra.
“I would like to thank again the government of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana for the trust in my person. I am committed to work toward a better future for farmers and one of my first tasks would be to ensure we bring farmer back to the center – getting a betting living income to build a true sustainable cocoa sector”, Assanvo posted on LinkedIn.
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