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Sport Cocoa sector: Ivory Coast and Ghana put pressure on the chocolate multinationals

12:30  03 december  2020
12:30  03 december  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Cocoa production has gradually destroyed Ghana and Ivory Coast ’s national parks and forests. The “it” he is referring to is poverty alleviation. Chocolate companies, cocoa processors and governments have come together under the Cocoa and Forests Initiative. On July 4, Ghana launched

Cocoa is the chief agricultural export of Ghana and Ghana 's main cash crop.is cocoa .The world largest irrigation scheme of cocoa is Ivory Coast

Un agriculteur travaille dans une ferme de cacao en Côte d'Ivoire. © REUTERS / Thierry Gouegnon A farmer works on a cocoa farm in Côte d'Ivoire.

The Ivory Coast and Ghana are determined to continue their offensive that began on Monday, November 30, 2020 against two American multinational chocolate companies. Abidjan and Accra accuse Hershey and Mars of not wanting to pay a special premium intended to better remunerate farmers who produce cocoa. A meeting between the actors of the sector is to take place this Thursday in Yamoussoukro.

Going to meet the peasants, without whom the chocolate market would lack raw materials, this is a way for the Ivorian regulator to put pressure on the Mars and Hershey groups. He criticized them for turning to the stock market for supplies in order to avoid paying the special premium called the "decent income differential" . Negotiated last year and entered into force on October 1, the bonus was even discussed in the presence of

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Ivory Coast , the world's largest cocoa producer, earns just a fraction of the crop's potential value and must process it domestically and develop its distribution to fully reap the benefits, a World Bank report said Thursday. Cocoa accounts for 40 percent of the West African nation's exports but the country

Ivory Coast and Ghana , the world's two largest cocoa producers, have ended a threat to stop selling their production in what was a push for higher Cocoa accounts for 40 percent of the Ivory Coast 's exports but the country only earns about eight percent of total profits in the cocoa - chocolate sector .

, two American multinationals accused of today, hence the anger of the Café Cacao Council and Cocobod, the public bodies management of the cocoa sectors of these two West African countries. Buyers have managed to get around this premium by sourcing from certified term warehouses, that is, by buying beans produced before October 1. "Secret strategies" to "bypass the mechanism of improving the incomes of producers with a view to making it fail", denounce Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

In response, for the first time, the two countries, which account for two-thirds of global cocoa production, have suspended

Hershey sustainability programs which certify that large chocolate groups buy "ethical" cocoa. that is to say beans that do not come from plantations that have caused deforestation or made children work. "Chocolatiers will always be the winners" The Yamoussoukro meeting also serves to reassure producers about the determination of managers in the sector in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana to force multinationals to respect their commitments. Because today, the situation of cocoa farmers is worrying in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.

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In the Ivory Coast , cocoa is more valuable than gold. This isn’t just a figure of speech: OEC reports that cocoa beans and related products, such as chocolate and Ivory Coast and Ghana recently signed an encouraging agreement to tackle the challenges both have faced in the cocoa sector .

Ivory Coast is the world's largest cocoa producer but until recently it was virtually impossible to buy She buys the cocoa beans straight from the farmer and then dries them on the roof of her factory in image captionThe crushed cocoa beans before they are put in the grinder. After two or three days of

“The objective for us will be to bring each party to respect the agreement that we have concluded. So with Hershey we're talking. They are our partners. We have some disagreements. We discuss. We will come to an agreement ”, explains to RFI the president of the Café Cacao Council of Côte d'Ivoire, Yves Brahima Koné, who hopes that this meeting will make it possible to unblock the situation and remind the various players in the sector of their commitments.

A losing battle for some. "Showdown between government and chocolate makers? Everyone knows that chocolate makers will always be the winners. These are people who have months and months in stock at their disposal. However, we cannot keep our cocoa for months, ”notes Moussa Koné, president of the National Union for Progress in Côte d'Ivoire. He particularly regrets not being invited to the negotiating table. “To make decisions without us is to make decisions against us,” he says.

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Cocoa cultivation in Ivory Coast and Ghana is usually a family activity. Ghanaian statistics indicate that farm sizes typically average less than ten acres in the Ashanti and Eastern regions, and 10 to 20 acres on the average in the Western North and Western South regions. 8 Such detailed statistics are

Cocoa cultivation in Ivory Coast and Ghana is usually a family activity. Ghanaian statistics indicate that farm sizes typically average less than ten acres in the Ashanti and Eastern regions, and 10 to 20 acres on the average in the Western North and Western South regions. 8 Such detailed statistics are

"We must clarify everything that is happening"

Note that for their part, the American giants Mars and Hershey provide support to small planters, by paying this "decent income differential". Some growers confirm that they receive this bonus of $ 400 per tonne of cocoa sold.

With this meeting, the Ivorian authorities wish to reassure, but above all to show their intransigence around the payment of the premium. “We must clear up everything that is happening and allow the populations not to be discouraged. That’s why this meeting is happening. So all the manufacturers who will not want to comply with the rules that we have defined together, that means that they do not want to trade in cocoa and we are going to draw the consequences ”, estimates the Ivorian Minister of Agriculture and of Sustainable Development, Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani. According to him, "there are people who agree in principle, but there are others who want to play a double game."

Protest marches, organized by cocoa farmers, are announced in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana on Thursday. While on the Ivorian side, a meeting is scheduled between the government and the industry, the Ghanaian president has not addressed the subject, reports our correspondent in Accra,

Marine Jeannin

. In the midst of the electoral campaign for the presidential election on Monday, Nana Akufo-Addo, candidate for her own succession, preferred to highlight her plan to create a special pension scheme for 1.5 million cocoa farmers.

Ghana president wins second term with 51.59% .
Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has won a second term after a tightly contested presidential election, the country's electoral commission announced Wednesday, beating long-time opponent John Mahama. The results from Monday's vote came hours after police said five people had been killed in election-related violence, casting a shadow over a country hailed for its stable democracy. Akufo-Addo of the centre-right New Patriotic Party (NPP) received 6,730,413 or 51.59 percent of votes while Mahama of the centre-left National Democratic Congress (NDC) received 6,214,889 or 47.36 percent, the electoral commission's chairperson Jean Adukwei Mensa said.

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