Feeling the crunch? So are cocoa farmers in West Africa. Inflation is hitting hard and forcing them even further into poverty. We always pay a higher price for cocoa to enable farmers to earn a living income. Now we're paying farmers even more – 82% more in Côte d'Ivoire – to reflect the increased cost of living.
Let's unwrap the facts. The price of daily essentials and cocoa farming costs are soaring in West Africa. In Côte d'Ivoire the cost of living has gone up by 14% – from $2.49 to $2.61 per person per day. While the price of fertilizer has increased by a whopping 50-60%.
The bitter truth is that many cocoa farmers are already living well below the poverty line. But now they're being squeezed even further. Making sending their kids to school, feeding their families and accessing healthcare even more of a daily struggle. Poverty is the root cause of forced labor and child labor in the chocolate industry. So it's more important than ever to pay a higher price for cocoa.
Upping the LIRP and our premium
At Tony’s, we pay the Living Income Reference Price (LIRP) for all the cocoa we buy. This is a price aligned with Fairtrade and enables farmers to earn a living income.
In light of the cost-of-living crisis, Fairtrade has updated the LIRP. In Côte d'Ivoire it will jump from $2200 per ton to $2390 per ton. But eagle eyes will be able to spot the gap between the LIRP and the farmgate price. (Psst.. The farmgate price is the price cocoa buyers have to pay per kilo of beans, which is set by the government.)
To make sure we pay the LIRP, we're increasing the Tony's premium in Côte d'Ivoire from $792 per ton to $1096 per ton – and will continue to pay the $50 co-op fee per ton on top.
Get the full LIRP lowdown and the latest on prices in Ghana here.
Give it up for our allies
Good to know! We're not the only ones paying the LIRP. Ben & Jerry's, ALDI, Albert Heijn, Jokolade, Vly Foods and The Flower Farm have committed to pay cocoa farmers more for their cocoa too. Yay!
These Mission Allies are part of Tony's Open Chain – an initiative that enables companies to end forced labor and child labor in the chocolate industry. How? By following Tony's 5 Sourcing Principles – our tried and tested rules for fairer chocolate.