A report by the Federated Commodities (FEDCO), a licenced cocoa buying firm headquartered in Ghana, has revealed that cocoa farmers only earn about 6 per cent of the chocolate industry’s total revenues.
This is despite undergoing arrays of strenuous hikes in order to make the commodity available all year round.
According to the report published Wednesday, leading chocolate companies have, since 2001, made pledges to end “widespread abusive labour practices” but continue to fall short.
In the report, FEDCO recommended that it is only by improving the cocoa supply chain with experienced local oversight that ethical, sustainable and profitable cocoa and chocolate industries can exist.
The cocoa firm noted that its CEO, Maria Adamu-Zibo, is ready to form international partnerships to take the Ghanian cocoa sector forwards.
“Cocoa is essential to the livelihoods of up to 50 million people around the world, including around five million smallholder farmers,” the report reads.
It says West Africa, mainly Ghana and Ivory Coast, produces about 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa on 1.5 million farms, with the majority of the crop coming from small farms (3-5 hectares of land).
Nigeria, former cocoa champion
Meanwhile, cocoa was a major agricultural export commodity in Nigeria, and a top foreign exchange earner in the 1950s and 60s.