Update on Living Income in the Cocoa Sector
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) held its flagship Partnership Meeting October 23-24 in Berlin, Germany. WCF President Richard Scobey launched the meeting with the industry’s new vision which rests on the three pillars of:
(1) Prosperous farmers and supporting profitable farming businesses
(2) Empowered communities able to lead their own development, including protecting the rights of children; and
(3) Healthy planet with biodiverse landscapes and reduced carbon footprint.
He reiterated the WCF’s commitment to living income for farmers as a critical building block for this vision.
The first day was marked by the announcement by the governments of the world’s largest cocoa producing countries, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, that their new joint pricing policy under the Abidjan Declaration includes a base price and a living income differential (LID), which has been instituted as a permanent mechanism and will be going directly to cocoa farmers tax free. The announcement was preceded by government / industry negotiation on industry sustainability programs, which each government will allow to continue as long as there is also industry commitment to the LID. Multiple European government speakers also reiterated their commitments to the linked goals of living income, no deforestation or child labour.
The Living Income Community of Practice facilitated a panel on how living income is being tackled in other sectors which featured speakers from IDH, Oxfam, the Mars Farmer Income Lab, and the Ghana Coffee Federation. The meeting also included a dramatic announcement by one of the world’s largest commodities traders, Olam Cocoa, who announced their new their new Cocoa Compass strategy with a commitment to living incomes for all their farmers by 2030.