Sustainability programs set up to support cocoa farmers in West Africa should work more closely together to tackle farmer poverty, according to a study released May 19 by a partnership between the Fairtrade Foundation and Mondelez International, Inc.’s Cocoa Life.
The “Cocoa Sustainable Livelihoods Landscape Study” examined what actions are needed to secure sustainable livelihoods for cocoa growers and communities. It may be found here. The report revealed repetition in multiple sustainability programs seem to be assisting some farmers while as many as 1.69 million farmers might not be receiving any assistance.
The Ivory Coast and Ghana combined produce 60% of the world’s cocoa. Cocoa supports about 2 million farmers in the region. The average farmer lives on $1.50 or less per day.
“We believe that a sustainable cocoa supply begins with empowered cocoa farmers,” said Cathy Pieters, program director for Cocoa Life, a cocoa sustainability program. “However, as a sector all actors need to continue to work together to make this possible. Only by holding each other accountable in addressing the report’s findings can we hope to bring about change for cocoa farmers in the years to come — and in doing so lead transformation of the cocoa sector.” Read more…