Mid 2017 the price for cocoa on the world market dropped with 40%, due to a very succesful harvest and speculation by traders. In Ivory Coast, the guaranteed farmgate price a farmer gets for cocoa also dropped 40%. This still has huge impact on the lives of farmer families in Ivory Coast. A little further along in the value chain, the pricedrop made for huge advantages. Big Choco saved about $ 4,7 billion on buying cocoa. Where that went? Well, consumers didn't profit - we didn't see any price drops except our own...This gives a peculiar taste to chocolate if you know what we mean.
2,1 million children work in Ghana and Ivory Coast in illegal circumstances on farms, mostly because their parents earn too little with the harvest. We don't think that's normal.
Worste still, recent research confirms that at least 30.000 people are victims of modern slavery. Adults and children forced to farm cocoa without getting paid for it. And then they haven't even taken the illegal farms into consideration.
Who's profiting Almost everywhere in the world, chocolate fans love chomping down on a big chunk of choco. Almost everybody loves chocolate. And everybody has his or her own favourite flavour. Big chocolate companies not just make a lot of chocolate, the make a LOT of money too. And there's nothing wrong with making money and profit. Businesses need it. Without profit, a business will go broke. However, there is something wrong with profit when it is made through exploitation happening at the start of the value chain, where people live in extreme poverty.
2,5 million farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast produce more than 60% of all cocoa worldwide. The average cocoa farmer in Ivory Coast earns on average 67 eurocents (source: Cacaobarometer 2018)* per day. That's not an living income. You can't support a family on 67 cents a day, even in West-Afrika, where cost of living is lower than it is here.
Big Chocolate is not taking responsibility The system works like this: farmers sell cocoa to traders. Traders throw all the cocoa on the big cocoa 'pile' on the world market. Big chocolate companies buy from the 'front end' of the big cocoapile. They don't look over it, and do not look at the conditions of cocoa farmers. They do not accept responsibility for the problems cocoa farmers face at the 'back end' of the pile.
Well, what about certified beans you ask? Even those do not guarantee dignified working conditions.
It's not about who to blame, but who has (and takes!) responsibility to combat exploitation. Extreme poverty without end in sight leads to illegal child labour, exploitation and even modern slavery. Every chain in the cocoa value chian needs to take action and we need to take responsibility as an industry, as consumers and with governments.
Disclaimer: we do not do fake news This facts are from trustworthy and independant sources. We have checked and double checked them, but don't take our word for it. Check out the Global Slavery Index, research on the cocoa value chain from Tulane University, True Price and the Cacao Barometer. The latter reports on the status in chocolate secotr every two years. We also asked PwC to analyse and vet 12 non-financial KPI's we report on each year in the annual report on the progression of our roadmap. Do you want to know more? Don't hesitate to visit, call or mail us!
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