Producers & Products

Cocoa

Chocolate is one of the world’s favourite sweet treats, but the conditions that cocoa farmers face would leave you with a bitter taste.

We fight against child labour, and every year we put money into projects to ensure that farmers’ children can attend school. All of this has been possible thanks to Fairtrade Premium. We’d like to thank you for being on our side.

Awa Traoré, General Manager, CAYAT cocoa cooperative in Côte d’Ivoire

All About Cocoa

Chocolate is one of the world’s favorite foods but growing cocoa is a hard task.

Most of the world’s cocoa is grown on small family farms, of which around 70% are in West African countries like Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Cocoa is a delicate and sensitive crop, and farmers must protect trees from wind, sun, pests, and disease. With proper care, cocoa trees begin to yield pods at peak production levels by the fifth year, and they can continue at this level for 10 years. But for all this hard work, cocoa farmers gain very little from a very profitable global cocoa trade.

Fairtrade works with 322,000 small-scale cocoa farmers. Our Standards specify the payment of a Fairtrade Minimum Price, which ensures that cocoa farmers receive a fair and stable payment despite market fluctuations. Cocoa farmers partnering with Fairtrade also receive an additional sum called the Fairtrade Premium, which they invest in business or community projects of their choosing. According to our most recent data, Fairtrade cocoa farmers receive more than $68million Premium per year.

Among the many challenges faced by cocoa farmers, child labour is endemic in the sector. While it is a complex issue rooted in poverty, young people should never be abused or exploited for hazardous work rather than being allowed to learn, play, and develop as children should. The Fairtrade Standards have a number of criteria intended to prohibit child labour, and our youth-led approach in the countries where it is most common complements our work with governments and other NGOs to eradicate the practice.

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