10. May 2023

The Living Income Community of Practice in partnership with Living Income Thematic Group of Cote d’Ivoire (Working Group 8 of the Public-Private Partnership Platform of the Conseil du Café Cacao) and IDH transforming markets hosted an in-person action learning workshop on May 10, 2023, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. This invite-only event was extended to operational staff from companies, NGOs, and government programs that have or are developing living income programs to exchange evidence-based experiences on central learning questions common to all living income programs, within the context of the dynamic West African cocoa sector. 

The aim of this workshop was to advance the learning on what works to improve farmers’ incomes and better advance program design and interventions. While the meeting drew from action in the cocoa sector, work on living income in other agricultural sectors was also sought out for the meeting. Learning and key insights from the workshop will be shared with the community soon. 

This workshop explored the following themes
Putting the cooperative front-and-centre as the producer of living income impact for cocoa communities

Our panellists discussed the factors to put cooperatives front and centre of living income impacts. They emphasized the importance of long-term commitments and good agreement,  mechanisms and support in place. 

Procurement Practices: What Really Matters?

Change is required at a more systemic level by multiple public and private actors. Procurement practices and trading relationships are key in distributing value across supply chain actors. Panel discussed the importance of Procurement and Sustainability going hand in hand.

Labor Strategies for living income investments

Understanding the complexities of labour requirements in farming practices is critical for support of profitable farm systems. Panel discussed the realities of labour availability, quality and cost in cocoa farming

Tailoring services for different farmers

Farming communities are highly diverse, with families who own larger land sizes, some who work as sharecroppers, others for whom agriculture is a secondary income source. During this breakout, it was explored how can companies, cooperatives and service providers be more literate about the segments of the farming community in order to better tailor services to them in a way that works for these different kinds of farmers. 

Income Diversification to Close the Gap

Diversification is a promising strategy for increasing net household income while also improving resilience. A variety of diversification opportunities have been created, from family gardens to entrepreneurial businesses. During this breakout, Rikolto and TechnoServe shared diversification projects on farm and off-farm and participants shared their own experiences

Latest News from EU Policy

During the session, Simon Gmeiner discussed the Policy Update and new joint declaration from Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and the Netherlands on living income and living wage. He highlighted the implications these developments have for the living income movement.

The report and slides containing the key highlights from this workshop are now accessible. Please find the links to the report and slides below

The action learning workshop: Evidence in Living Income provided a unique opportunity for professionals from diverse sectors to share their experiences and ideas, and collaborate towards a common goal.

The partnership between the Living Income Community of Practice, the Living Income Thematic Group of Côte d'Ivoire - Working Group 8 of the Public Private Partnership Platform of the Conseil du Café Cacao and IDH Transforming Markets was instrumental in bringing people together and facilitating meaningful discussions.

We would like to thank all the participants and speakers for their insights and contributions.

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