As we approach Easter and chocolate sales boom spare a minute for the cocoa farmers, many of whom earn less than they need to survive. Fairtrade Fortnight took place in March and brought many of these issues into sharp focus, but it’s important to remember that we can make a difference year-round by supporting Fairtrade campaigns and buying ethically sourced products.
Ivorian cocoa farmer, Salimata, earns the equivalent of 75 pence a day. This is less than half what she and her family needs for a decent standard of life.
Buying Fairtrade can provide a part of the answer for cocoa farmers like Salimata, but there is widespread agreement that industry and government-wide policies are needed to ensure living incomes for cocoa producers.
£1.86 is the amount a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to earn each day in order to achieve a living income. Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives on around 74p a day. Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty.For the women the situation is even worse. They may plant and harvest on the farm, look after children, carry water, collect wood, cook and clean for the family, and transport the cocoa beans to market but often with fewer rights than men.
This is why Fairtrade are campaigning for a living income to become a reality for cocoa farmers in West Africa and are working together with governments, chocolate companies and retailers to make the commitments and policies happen.
A living income means enough money to live a simple but dignified life, paying for essentials such as clothing, medicine and school.
Fairtrade is calling on the UK Government to make sure that our trade with developing countries puts poverty reduction first, delivering living incomes for all.
Sign the petition at bit.ly/2O0pbkv