Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana cocoa farmers to reap from the newly introduced premium living income

WEST AFRICA – Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire have agreed to sell cocoa with a premium Living Income of $400 a tonne added to the price in a bid to address a perceived imbalance between farmers’ incomes and money made by big commodities traders, reports Reuters.

In a move aimed at easing pervasive farmer poverty in the countries who together produce more than 60% of the world’s cocoa led to the introduction of a living income differential (LID) in July on all cocoa sales for the 2020/21 season.

This is a move that has been supported by Chocolate makers and grinders such as the French chocolatier, Cemoi confirming it had bought cocoa from Côte d’Ivoire and paid the $400 a tonne LID.

The two countries plan to use funds raised from the LID to guarantee farmers 70% of $2,600 a tonne of FOB target price. If global prices rise above $2,900, proceeds from the LID will be placed in a stabilisation fund that would be used to ensure farmers get the target price when market prices fall.

Third-party certification schemes, corporate sustainability programmes, and government-guaranteed minimum prices have aimed to tackle farmers poverty which threatens the sector’s future in West Africa.

Lidl, a German grocer has augmented its existing sustainable chocolate policy for private-label products as part of its overarching ‘way to go’ program of responsible sourcing.

In 2017 they introduced 100% sustainable cocoa in all its own label products. Ethically sourced cocoa will be used as an ingredient in more than 120 of Lidl’s private label goods, including biscuits, desserts, and seasonal and promotional confectionery lines.

They have collaborated with the Fairtrade Foundation, UTZ and the Rainforest Alliance to help enhance the lives of cocoa farming communities around the world by improving farming methods, protecting the environment, and increasing income through fair prices.

They recently launched ‘super fair’ bars which hit shelves of all 315 stores in Benelux (Belgium and Luxembourg) this month for an RRP of €1.99 ($2.20) in four flavours: milk chocolate, ‘pure,’ caramel sea salt and pecan coconut.

Existing Lidl-brand chocolate products already carry Fairtrade certifications and with the new additions the company will now help finance 440 Ghanaian cocoa farmers with additional income.

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