London — The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) is reviewing options to source additional funding to support cocoa farmers, based on findings revealed in its Study on the Establishment of a Cocoa Sustainability Fund.
The cocoa economy faces several severe challenges, including low yields and productivity, prevalent poverty among smallholder cocoa farmers, child labor and price volatility. All key stakeholders in the cocoa value chain — governments of both coca exporting and importing countries, international developmental institutions, non-governmental organizations and companies — are aware that the precarious situations faced by cocoa farmers must improve, according to the ICCO.
Within this context, the ICCO commissioned a study to explore the options for a Cocoa Sustainability Fund, which would be able to mobilize sufficient funds, guarantee the participation of key stakeholders and be able to address the most urgent problems faced by smallholder farmers.
Funds could be sourced from an additional fee charged for certified cocoa, a fee on cocoa financial market transactions, a fee on non-certified cocoa trade, or a voluntary or compulsory levy on every bar of chocolate, the study says. It also makes a proposal for management and distribution of the raised funds, based on the experience of similar efforts in other agricultural sectors, such as palm oil, cotton, meat and coffee.
To read the ICCO study in full, see: