By Maxwell Obiri-Yeboah .
Fairtrade Ghana Network, a global certification scheme, has promised increasing the minimum price and premium of cocoa (for its members) by 20% with effect from October 1, 2019.
This is a strategy of improving upon the current living conditions of its members globally especially, in Ghana and La Cote D’voire.
Speaking at a presser which was organized by the network in Accra, the president of Fairtrade International, Mr. Johannes Kumedjro said that the price of cocoa on the world market which is $2000.00 a tonne would be increased to $2,400.00 per metric tonne at the point of export or Free on Board (FOB), a 20% increase which currently “is the highest fixed premium of any certification scheme.”
He went on to say that, “the premium, which is an amount on top of the selling price paid directly to farmer organizations to spend on projects of their choice within their communities and cooperative would be $300 above the market price. This is a change from the current minimum fixed price of $2,300 per metric tonne for Fairtrade certified organic cocoa.”
Mr. Johannes expressed that this decision was triggered by the results obtained from a research conducted in the cocoa farming region in La Côte D’voire in April this year.
According to him, the research showed that 58% of Fairtrade certified cocoa farming households had incomes below the extreme poverty line. Most of them are not able to afford basic costs for food, housing, clothing, health care and education.
“This new price per our research, would help improve upon the quality of life of all our members’ which are the cocoa growing households to earn above the extreme poverty line.
“From our report, it was observed that there are still harsh living conditions in the cocoa growing communities and we want to get this resolved. Also, this is a move to get more people engaged in agriculture and take it seriously,” he said.
Mr. Johannes noted that the price increase was agreed upon after a holistic consultation process across the cocoa supply chain with Fairtrade International’s farmers, traders, manufacturers, chocolate brands, producers, industry, civil society organizations as well as other international bodies.
He iterated that for farmers to be able to get this new price increase, they must first be members of this global entity and also obey all Fairtrade practices in order to attract buyers.
Mr. Johannes explained that “there are certain chemicals which are been banned from the market in cocoa production and as such, all of our cocoa farmers should desist from using them. Also, they should not involve themselves in child labour, but rather apply all ethical standards.”
Fairtrade International is therefore entreating all cocoa farmers who would want to join Fairtrade in order to benefit from this initiative to join registered groups in their areas or join cooperatives since they deal with such entities, and follow all its rules and practices.
“The company is therefore urging all its partners to continue to adhere to the Fairtrade policies in order to contract the upcoming benefits by achieving the expected results,” he added.