Sustainability

Tony’s Chocolonely ‘Big Choco Sale’ highlights severe cocoa price drop in Cote d’Ivoire

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tony’s Chocolonely says it voluntarily pays a higher price for its cocoa. Pic: Tony’s Chocolonely
Tony’s Chocolonely says it voluntarily pays a higher price for its cocoa. Pic: Tony’s Chocolonely

Related tags: Cocoa, Tony's Chocolonely

A sharp and sudden drop in cocoa farmgate prices by 18.5% in Cote d’Ivoire has led to ethical Netherlands’ brand Tony’s Chocolonely launching an urgent appeal to all chocolate companies to match the price Tony’s pays its cocoa farmers.

At Tony’s, we have made a pledge to make all chocolate 100% free of modern slavery and illegal child labour. We believe this should be the norm throughout the industry, but we cannot achieve it alone. We invite consumers to choose more consciously and to demand that their favourite chocolate brands pay cocoa farmers fairly​,” said Paul Schoenmakers, Head of Impact at Tony’s Chocolonely. 

From the beginning of this month, Cote d’Ivoire’s main crop cocoa farmgate price has decreased to $1,457 USD/metric ton from $1,788 USD/metric ton last year.

Tony’s is also calling on all chocolate companies to pay the Living Income Reference (LID) for their cocoa, to enable farmers to earn a living income “as a crucial step to helping farmers out of poverty​”.

This price drop in the world’s largest cocoa-growing country comes after government bodies attempted to ensure a fairer price for cocoa farmers by introducing the LID of $400 extra per ton of cocoa. 

Some of the large chocolate companies allegedly responded by avoiding buying cocoa from these regions and bargaining down the overall cocoa price. This resulted in the mid-crop farmgate price being dropped by 25% in April 2021, and now the main crop price has also been dropped by 18.5%.

Low cocoa prices, which support the profits of large chocolate companies over the livelihoods of small holder farmers, is a step in the wrong direction,​” said Schoenmakers.

Tony’s Chocolonely says it voluntarily pays a higher price for its cocoa – with an additional premium and a co-op fee on top of the Fairtrade premium to bridge the gap between farmgate price and Living Income Reference Price. The total Tony’s premium paid on top of the farmgate price will increase from $462 to $793 per tonne of cocoa in 2021/22 to ensure farmers are not impacted by this significant price drop.

Tony’s is asking consumers to call out this cocoa price drop and asking chocolate companies to pay more, not less, for cocoa. Learn more about the brand’s mission at its website: https://tonyschocolonely.com/us/en.

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