The African Platform for Sustainable Cocoa, which brings together civil society cocoa platforms from Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, said it has learned from the press of discussions between the main cocoa producing countries (Cote d’ivoire and Ghana) and the main buyers of cocoa futures and upheld cocoa farmers’ right to fair income.
According to public reports, the industry is refusing to pay contracts at the current market price plus the Living Income Differential (LID), despite promising to do so.
The Ivorian Platform for Sustainable Cocoa (PICD) and the Ghana Cocoa Civil Society Platform (GCCP), grouped together within the African Platform for Sustainable Cocoa, denounce this latest breach of the industry’s commitment to the fight against poverty and the right of farmers to a decent income.
In Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, the market situation had raised hopes of a higher price at last for producers, after years of low prices. But the farm gate price of cocoa for the 2023 2024 season announced in the two countries did not reflect the price rise on the world market: 1,000 FCFA in Cote d’Ivoire and 1,308.99 Cedi in Ghana, prices appreciated in different ways but not much higher than last season, when the world price of cocoa was lower.
Meanwhile, these farm gate prices are still well below what is needed to enable farmers to earn a decent income, a commitment that all stakeholders must make.
As the PICD pointed out in its communication, this situation is also due to the cocoa market, which operates in such a way that all the risks fall on the shoulders of producers, who are already very badly off in terms of sharing the profits generated by the sector.
The statement in the media by a company representative that it will not be able to buy cocoa at the moment because “it creates too much risk for us if the market turns and prices fall”, illustrates precisely this situation where the large multinationals have the power to pass on all the risks of price variations to the producers, who are people living in extreme poverty.
“We say this is not acceptable. Because the farm gate price for the 2024 2025 marketing year is at stake right now. There is no point in having high prices in 5 6 months if all the contracts are sold at a low price today. The farm gate price for next season will be set on the basis of the contracts sold,” PICD pointed out.
Putting an End to Practice of Forcing Prices Down
The statement called on the industry to buy cocoa now, and put an end to this practice of forcing prices down, which goes totally against their commitments to sustainability and the fight against extreme poverty among producers.
“We are calling on the governments of consumer countries, particularly the European Union, to address this situation, which is likely to jeopardise all the efforts made to create a climate conducive to the sustainability of cocoa, which necessarily involves better remuneration for producers. The European Union must impose regulatory obligations on companies to force them to pay producers a price that is high enough to provide an adequate standard of living.
“We would like to draw the attention of the authorities of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana to the fact that it is absolutely necessary to open discussions on the management of the stabilisation fund financed by the Living Income Differential.”PICD
This, PICD said all opinions can be called to witness the unfair behaviour of the industry at a time when organisational efforts are underway for a systemic and sustainable improvement in the living conditions of cocoa producers. “We say that it is at the price of this transparency that we can collectively be in a position to fundamentally change the situation,” he said.
The African Platform for Sustainable Cocoa was created in July 2022 in Grand Bassam. It currently comprises the Ivorian Platform for Sustainable Cocoa (PICD) and the Ghana Cocoa Civil Society Platform (GCCP).