GHANA AND IVORY COAST TO INSIST ON FAIR PAY FOR THEIR COCOA FARMERS
The Ivory Coast-Ghana Cocoa Initiative, has vowed to ensure that the world’s top chocolate manufacturers pay back to cocoa farmers what is due them.
Ghana and Ivory Coast which together produces over 70% of the global cocoa supply for the chocolate industry insist that farmers deserve an improvement in their livelihoods inspite of the current slump in global cocoa consumption.
Speaking at his swearing-in ceremony, held at the Ivorian capital of Abidjan, Mr. Alex Assanvo, the new Executive Secretary of the Ivory Coast-Ghana Cocoa Initiative said, “We need to lift cocoa farmers out of poverty”. He added that this is non-negotiable and the regulators will not compromise on it.
The two producer countries secured a pay raise for farmers by charging global chocolate giants a premium of $400 per ton, beginning with the current farming season.
The new Executive Secretary, a former director in the chocolate industry takes up the role at a time when the West African regulators have accused some companies of their unwillingness to show commitment to their earlier decision.
Globally, the chocolate industry has been well affected by the current global health crisis which has led to a widespread drop in consumption by consumers in Europe and others parts of the world, most especially the HoReCa Sub-sector. This has led to increases in supplies with its attending drop in prices.
According to Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board, manufacturers are trying all that they can to undermine the Living Income Differential by not paying the country premium, however, the regulators are not going to allow their farmers to be short changed.