The Ivorian Fair Trade Network has expressed its disappointment following the farmgate price reduction paid to the country’s cocoa farmers and has called for a commitment to the Living Income Differential (LID) that was introduced last year to boost farmer income.
In a statement read on behalf of the Ivorian Fair Trade Network, Vice President Fortin Bley said that in 2019, the announcement by the governments of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, through the Conseil du Café-Cacao (CCC) and Ghana COCOBOD, to institute a Living Income Differential of 400 US dollars or 200,000 FCFA per tonne from this year’s first crop was greatly welcomed by the farmers.
Following the recent announcement by the Ivorian government of the reduction in the minimum guaranteed farmgate price for cocoa by 9% for the intermediate campaign from April 1 to September 30, 2021, he made an appeal to the government to consider the payment of profitable prices to farmers to enable the sustainable production of cocoa.
“We wish to express our disappointment with the current farmgate price level, which has fallen by 25% compared to that of the major 2020-2021 crop season,” the statement said “with a final call to all relevant actors within the value chain to commit to guaranteeing decent prices for cocoa farmers,” the statement added.
In a separate move the CCC said it would reimburse exporters for their expenses related to the implementation of a premium meant to combat farmer poverty, claiming the measure hit exporters hard, driving up prices for Ivorian cocoa just as the coronavirus pandemic dented global demand.
Cote d’Ivoire’s CCC informed exporters last week that it would reimburse them 5 CFA francs ($0.0092) for each kilo from the October-to-March main crop and 4 CFA francs per kilo for the April-to-September mid-crop harvest.
The CCC has previously tried to cushion the blow relating to the implementation of the LID by lowering a separate premium known as the country differential.
The Ivorian Fair Trade Network statement also made a call to the European Union to support the decent income differential by requiring companies that put cocoa or chocolate products on the European Union market to ensure that the cocoa farmers within the supply chain are able to progress towards a living income, as part of the human rights and environmental rights due diligence regulations to be proposed by the EU.