African Farmers Take on Big Chocolate: FT

Ghana and Ivory Coast produce about two thirds of the world’s cocoa. David Pilling, writing for the Financial Times, questions why such nations cannot break free of poverty, and then explains how many farms are small, producing just a few bags of pods each year. “Ghana supplies about one-fifth of all cocoa beans, for which it earns about $2bn a year, less than one-fiftieth of the value of the chocolate that is manufactured, branded and sold,” he explains. Ghana’s president blames a colonial legacy. Other critics blame minimum foreign investment, deforestation, over-reliance on one crop, and failure to enforce child labor laws and encourage education. Challenges to processing chocolate in Africa include a lack of dairy farms, warm temperatures and high electricity prices Ghana and Ivory Coast are trying new price controls on cocoa, and manufacturers generally express support to resist any association with poverty and environmental destruction. Some chocolate firms invest in training programs that promote economic diversification, including raising poultry for eggs. One manufacturer points out if Africans struggle or prices crash, other industries could control the land while others express concern the poverty is too overwhelming. – YaleGlobal

African Farmers Take on Big Chocolate: FT

Ghana and Ivory Coast name a fixed price, seeking a larger share of profits from the global chocolate industry
David Pilling
Sunday, January 19, 2020

Read the article from the Financial Times about the quest by Africa’s small cacao farmers to exit poverty.

David Pilling is Africa editor for the Financial Times.

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(Source: Photo, GhanaLive.TV; data, and Confectionary News)

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