Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire Boycott World Cocoa Foundation Meeting
Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are boycotting the World Cocoa Foundation partnership meetings in Brussels, Belgium in protest of the prevailing market dynamics in the cocoa trade. The Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGCI) Secretariat will also not be taking part in the meeting, which also starts today. The two countries’ grievances
concern the latent opposition to the Living Income Differential (LID). Our members are not happy with the state of play, and we want to send a clear message that we will not undermine the livelihoods of farmers, Alex Assanvo, Executive Secretary of the CIGCI is quoted as saying in a statement. The LID was introduced in 2019 to
guarantee cocoa farmers a minimum price that would improve the income of farmers, many of whom live in poverty. The LID is set at $400 per tonne of cocoa and is charged on top of world prices. But the LID has been undermined by commodity traders who slapped negative Country Differentials (CD) on the London and New York
Cocoa Futures amounting to -$260 per tonne for Ghana and Ivory Coast. Le Conseil du Café Cacao (CCC) and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) have complained about the state of affairs. In a move to ensure transparency, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire have been publishing origin differentials and in July 2022, a further decision was
taken to no longer sell their cocoa with negative country differentials. At the same time, a process was also launched with the industry to build a path for an economic pact that was signed by all the major companies. The boycott has been backed by some observers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. The Plateforme
Ivoirienne pour le cacao durable and the Ghana Civil-society Cocoa Platform, comprising farmers, farmer-based organizations, cocoa cooperatives, small-scale processors, the media and civil society organizations working in the cocoa sector, commended the move. We believe it is about time the world recognized the double
standards of multinational cocoa and chocolate industries, especially on cocoa pricing and the deteriorating living conditions of cocoa farmers due to their self-seeking interests and quest to maximize profits without any willingness to distribute profits along the value chain. The LID has finally become a figment of imagination and not tangible reality in the lives of cocoa farmers, they said.