No one way to bridge income gap, Mars says

There is no single answer to closing the living income gap for cocoa farmers, says Mars, as they argue that today’s supply chain isn’t aligned with their ambition that cocoa farmers should have opportunities to thrive.

Boosting the income of cocoa farmers while supporting the responsible sourcing of cocoa is “key” to a thriving cocoa sector, the company says, as it aims to have 100% of its cocoa responsibly sourced and traceable to the first point of purchase by 2025. Paying more is part of the solution, as systemic issues need to be tackled.

Mars’ Cocoa for Generations strategy addresses how to close living income gaps for cocoa farmers, as income can be affected by a range of factors from piece and yield (which can, in turn, be affected by soil fertility, weather and plant varieties) to costs such as transportation, storage, fertiliser and interest rates on loans.

This is not enough, the company says, as long-term solutions need to be developed to address the range of factors that impact on farmer income. This requires collaborative system-level change, transforming the way that they and suppliers buy from farmers, as well as how other players in the supply chains operate.

The company looks to partner with governments of cocoa-producing countries and supports the Living Income Differential of $400 per metric tone, which was announced by the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana in July 2019.

Prices alone cannot transition farmers into a more sustainable income situation, as it does not offset market volatilities and keeps farmers exposed to ‘boom-and-bust’ cycles.

The Côte d’Ivoire – Ghana Cocoa Initiative recently met, bringing the cocoa sector together to discuss sustainable cocoa and living income, as countries Nigeria and Cameroon expressed their interest in joining.

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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