UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS — The 2022 Cocoa Barometer report found that the wide range of challenges facing families in cocoa communities as well as environmental issues will continue until farmers receive a significant increase in earnings.
The biennial Cocoa Barometer produced by the VOICE Network, a global consortium of civil society organizations, said that public policies, private sector buying practices and agricultural solutions are needed to make lasting improvements.
“Raising productivity or increasing farm size will never work in isolation to address the myriad of problems in the global cocoa supply chain,” said Antonie Fountain, director of the VOICE Network. “Paying a higher price is inevitable if the living income gap is to be closed. Interventions such as the Ivorian-Ghanaian Living Income Differential are necessary first steps, but companies need to go far beyond that to ensure the farmgate price goes up.”
The organization listed a number of issues facing cocoa-growing communities, including child labor, malnutrition, insufficient access to education, health care and sanitation as well as a variety of other labor rights violations. Deforestation and climate change remain growing problems as well.
The report stated that measures aimed at increasing productivity and diversification will be ineffective and environmental and social problems will continue in the world’s major cocoa-producing areas in West Africa as long as cocoa farmers do not get a significant increase in earnings.
“The one thing that affects us farmers is the pricing of cocoa beans,” said Hayford Duodu, a cocoa farmer in Ghana. “In fact, pricing is a disincentive.”
To see the full report and recommendations for improvements, go to www.cocoabarometer.org.