Choose Fairtrade: support sustainable cocoa production


by Fan Olhats

Over 60% of the worlds cocoa is grown and harvested in West Africa, in countries like Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. However, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) estimates there are nearly 6 million cocoa farmers worldwide, 90% of which are smallholder farmers, and many of which have never tasted chocolate.

Fairtrade works with 457,347 small-scale cocoa farmers dedicated to sustainable cocoa production. Fairtrade cocoa farmers are paid a Fairtrade Minimum Price for their goods, which acts as a safeguard when market prices drop. Organic production is incentivized with a higher Minimum Price.

On top of the Minimum Price, farmer organizations also receive a Fairtrade Premium which they invest in projects of their choice. According to our most recent data, Fairtrade cocoa farmers receive more than $66 million Premium each year. Many farmers have used the Premium to improve their businesses and production, replacing old trees and investing in better facilities for crop collection, storage and transport, or processing.

Hear what Fairtrade cocoa producers in Ghana have to say about sustainable cocoa production

Fairtrade is also pushing the envelope to establish living incomes for small-scale farmers. If we want cocoa in the future, cocoa farmers need to earn a decent and viable living from their work.

By supporting smallholder farmers to organize themselves into small producer organizations – such as cooperatives and associations – farmers can negotiate better terms of trade and reach wider markets.

Fairtrade can make a real difference for farmers and workers, their families, and their wider communities. And so can you. Support your local brands dedicated to sustainable cocoa production and making trade fair by shopping Fairtrade chocolate at your local stores.

And make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to hear about new Fairtrade cocoa products as soon as they hit the market.