The cocoa farming business and the sector is long-established, with numerous and diverse stakeholders involved. Although the value chain is very profitable, very little of this economic value reaches the bottom of the chain at farmer level due to the distance placed between the raw product and end product in the value chain through many stakeholders and involved actors.
Cocoa farmers have been marginalised in the value chain, despite an increasing demand for cocoa, with most smallholders living in poverty due to lack of income from cocoa farming. This has lead to farmers engaging in malpractices such as child labour, deforestation and inadequate agricultural practices in order to make ends meet.
This has lead to the situation in which cocoa beans production is at risk and keeps declining as we (cocoa farmers) have decided to switch to alternative crops. Low yields, climate change impact and other issues including the need to increase traceability.
There are substantial opportunites for growth and advancement of the cocoa value chain, however in order to make use of this opportunity, we the cocoa farmers call for a unified approach and equal opportunity for all stakeholders.
We therefore appeal the need for balance power in the sector so ICFFO, governments and industries, to collaborate for the sustainable good of the cocoa sector.