Tony’s raises pay for West African cocoa farmers

Cocoa farmers based in West Africa will be receiving a pay rise to reflect rising inflation, Tony’s Chocolonely reported, as part of their efforts to ensure cocoa farmers earn a living income.

Farmers in Côte d’Ivoire will be receiving 82% more to reflect the increased costs of living. The price of daily essentials and cocoa farmer costs are rising in West Africa, particularly in Côte d’Ivoire where the cost of living has gone up by 14% – from US$2.49 to $2.61 per person a day, while the price of fertiliser has increased by 50-60%.

According to the company, Tony’s pay their farmers the Living Income Reference Price (LIRP) for the cocoa they buy, a price aligned with Fairtrade to enable farmers to earn a living income.

To calculate what they should be paying, costs of living, farming, productive farm size and achievable yield are all taken into account, Costs of farming, for instance, are calculated using local costs for inputs, hired labour and fixed costs for materials and logistics. In Côte d’Ivoire, this amounts to $2176 for inputs, $564 for hired labour and $246 for fixed costs.

Fairtrade recently updated the LIRP in response to the cost of living crisis. In Côte d’Ivoire this will increase from $2200 per ton to $2390 per ton. However, this leaves a glaring gap between the LIRP and farmgate price, Tony’s argue, which is the price cocoa buyers have to pay per kilo of beans which is set by the government.

To ensure they pay the LIRP, the company is increasing the premium in Côte d’Ivoire from $7892 to $1096 per ton, and will continue to pay the $50 co-op fee per ton on top.

Tony’s are not alone in raising the prices paid, as Ben & Jerry’s, ALDI, Albert Heijn, Jokolade, Vly Foods and The Flower Farm have all made commitments to pay cocoa farmers more for their cocoa.

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Media contact

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

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