Published 2 years ago.
About a 3 minute read.
Image: Christoph Köstlin/Fairtrade International
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Two forward-thinking brands have deepened their Fairtrade partnerships by making additional financial commitments to cocoa farmers in their supply chains.
At Fairtrade, our mission of achieving fair wages
for farmers worldwide is an ever-evolving journey. The next evolution of this
goal is to ensure farmers receive a living income for the goods they sell
through their hard work. A living income means sufficient funds to afford a
decent standard of living for all household members — including a nutritious
diet, clean water, decent housing, education, healthcare and other essential
needs, plus a little extra to enable them to take care of their businesses,
their communities, and the environment we share — once the farm costs are
covered. In short, a living income is about making sure cocoa farmers receive
enough for today, and a chance to plan for the future.
Cocoa farmers in West Africa, where two-thirds of the world’s supply is
sourced, are often living on less than $2 per day — facing challenges brought
on by extreme
child labor abuses, the effects of climate change and living with limited
infrastructure. Fairtrade International’s rigorous
standards and auditing process
ensure cocoa farmers receive fair incomes and working conditions. However,
living income is a critical step in fighting these issues.
Fairtrade recently announced partnerships with Ben &
to pioneer two unique strategies to deepen their financial commitment to cocoa
farmers striving toward a living income. The goal is that these initiatives not
only make a measurable impact in the short term, but also motivate other brands
sourcing cocoa to follow suit.
Image credit: Ben & Jerry's
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Ben & Jerry’s is offering additional funds on top of the Fairtrade
to support farmers who provide cocoa for its chocolate ice cream base in closing
the living income gap. From October 2020 onwards, roughly 5,000 Fairtrade cocoa
farmers in Ben & Jerry’s supply chain will receive approximately an additional
$600,000 over the next year. This amount is on top of the annual Fairtrade
Premium of around $970,000, and the Ivorian government’s minimum price for
cocoa that all companies are required to pay. The higher prices Ben & Jerry’s
will be paying is the latest step in a package of living income interventions
that the company has implemented together with Fairtrade since 2015 — which also
include productivity, diversification and co-operative strengthening. The higher
prices will be closely monitored through partners in West Africa to understand
exactly how they contribute towards a sustainable livelihood for farmers.
Image credit: Lidl
Lidl — another long-time, global Fairtrade partner — just launched its “Way to
Go!” bars in US stores, marking the first private-label chocolate bar in the US
that contributes directly to living incomes for cocoa farmers. Lidl’s financial
commitment provides support for income-generating programs and education, such
as diversifying into new categories like honey, rice or soap and developing new
farming techniques to increase yields and income over the long term.
Global brands are showing it is possible to use the networks and capabilities of
an existing sustainability partner such as Fairtrade to deepen impact for cocoa
farmers. Cocoa prices, child labor and farmers’ needs have been in the news a
lot recently, perhaps encouraging more brands to dig deeper into their supply
chains and create more sustainability for cocoa producers. For more information,
Published Dec 17, 2020 7am EST / 4am PST / 12pm GMT / 1pm CET
This article, produced in cooperation with the Sustainable Brands editorial team, has been paid for by one of our sponsors.