A decision by the Conseil du Café Cacao in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana Cocoa Board to allow sustainability programmes to continue alongside its Living Income Differential has been welcomed.
Following a period of engagement with industry players in the cocoa value chain on the implementation of sustainability programmes, the Conseil du Café Cacao in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) issued a joint statement on 23 October 2019 in which they said, “The Living Income Differential (LID) and sustainability programmes can co-exist and complement each other.
“The implementation of sustainability and certification programmes shall therefore continue in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. We shall monitor and evaluate the complementary co-existence of the LID and sustainability programmes being implemented in our respective countries to decide on them, going forward.
“The governments and industry agree that without an improved cocoa income there cannot be a sustainable cocoa industry. Industry clearly indicated that it is implementing the LID introduced in July for the 2020-21 season as part of a mutual objective to raise farmer incomes. They are taking the necessary actions towards its full and immediate implementation.
“The LID and sustainability programmes can operate together, as the two complement each other in ensuring the sustainability of the industry and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. We reaffirm our commitment to eradicating child labour and deforestation in cocoa and will collaborate with all stakeholders to promote and sustain the cocoa industry.”
Responding to the decision, leading cocoa trader Olam Cocoa told C&CI, “We share the belief of the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana that raising incomes and living standards for cocoa farmers is vitally important, however the LID alone is not enough for cocoa farmers to achieve a living income. Our 2030 Cocoa Compass goal aims to support 150,000 cocoa farmers across our entire global sourcing network, not only in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, to achieve a living income.”
Responding to the introduction of the LID and the announcement about certification, cocoa supplier Cargill told C&CI, “We acknowledge and respect the governments’ decision to introduce a US$400 living income differential.
“Cargill supports and shares the goal to build a robust global marketplace that provides strong incentives and more sustainable livelihoods for cocoa farmers. We believe that the cocoa price is one component in a holistic approach to ensure farming households achieve economic resilience.
“For example, diversifying income and strengthening farmer organisations and their communities through Cargill Cocoa Promise programmes. We continue to expand and deepen our programmes, so farmers have the know-how and the tools to act as entrepreneurs and plan for socio-economically viable and sustainable farms.
“We believe that every actor in the cocoa value chain has a unique and valuable role to play in fostering a more sustainable cocoa sector and are pleased with the continued support from the governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana for sustainability programmes.”
Fairtrade told C&CI, “We welcomed the decision of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to raise the farm gate price. Fairtrade see this as a real opportunity to drive change at scale for farmers in the two countries, which together produce more than 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa supply and who have been hit hard by a collapse in cocoa prices in 2017.
“Fairtrade has publicly supported the governments’ implementation of the LID, the additional sum to be paid per each ton of cocoa that ensures the practical increase of the price that is paid to farmers. And we have already adapted our Fairtrade standard to recognize the LID in support of governments’ target for a farm gate price of US$1,820/ton. This means that for deliveries from October 2020, when the government LID becomes active, all partners buying cocoa on Fairtrade terms will, through their Fairtrade commitments, be paying the LID.
“In this context, Fairtrade welcomes the clear call to action for the cocoa industry made by the governments of Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana at the World Cocoa Forum in Berlin on 23 October. After announcing a review of all certification and sustainability schemes, the governments’ asked request that industry should prioritise paying the LID as a priority, ahead of any sustainability programmes, is clear.
“In addition to the public support for the LID, Fairtrade has already taken additional significant measures to increase the amount cocoa farmers earn, recognizing, as the governments do, the need for improved livelihoods. As the only certification scheme to have publicly campaigned for farmers’ right to a living income, Fairtrade is committed to continue to work alongside the governments to make this a reality.”