Cocoa farming families must earn enough to have a decent living. Child labor is an indicator of poverty and a low level of rural development.
Cocoa is a traded commodity. Cocoa prices are at record levels, and cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire are benefiting from this price evolution.
However, the yield per hectare in Côte d’Ivoire has dropped from about 1,000 kilos to 500 kilos or less due to unsustainable agricultural practices, including monoculture, old trees, pests and diseases. All these factors also impact the quality of the cocoa.
The cocoa and chocolate industry will not be able to end poverty in Africa. But for nearly 10 years now, our cocoa sector has been committed to a program of investment and improvement of social conditions in cocoa producing countries. We do not claim that we can do this alone. It is for this reason that we work with Governments and the European Institutions, Donor Agencies, NGOs and all other stakeholders to make the essential difference. Collectively we have spent more than $75 million and are supporting some 40 programs throughout West Africa benefiting cocoa farming families and their communities.