Despite the sharp drop in cocoa prices in Ivory Coast, Tony's Chocolonely will continue to pay the benchmark price for living wages. The ethical chocolate maker is calling on all its competitors to do the same.
Price fell 20 %
This harvest season, the cocoa price in Ivory Coast - the largest cocoa producer globally - has dropped by 18.5 % to 1,457 dollars (1,250 euros) per tonne. This decline puts many cocoa farmers in (even deeper) financial difficulties and causes an increase in illegal child labour.
Tony's Chocolonely says it will continue to pay the farmers the so-called Living Income Reference Price, set at 2,200 dollars (1,900 euros) per tonne. Therefore, the price premium the chocolate producer pays on top of the market price will increase significantly for the coming season.
Guaranteeing living wages
"We call on all major chocolate companies to pay the living income reference price, to enable farmers to earn a living wage and thus help them escape poverty. We hope that consumers will demand that their favourite brands pay a fair price for cocoa this year", says Head of Impact Paul Schoenmakers.
Last year, Ghana and Ivory Coast introduced the Living Income Differential, which increased the price of cocoa by 400 dollars per tonne. Although some large chocolate producers publicly indicated that they wished to join the change, in practice, they bought less cocoa from those countries. This eventually led to a general decline in the price of cocoa. "This illustrates the chocolate industry's split personality. They claim to be committed to sustainability and working conditions, while at the same time they negotiate hard to lower the cocoa price", Schoenmakers says.