Divine Chocolate has been focused on the mission to deliver a living income to farmers since its inception 20 years ago. We therefore very much welcome the much broader discussion of this challenge that is now happening across the cocoa and chocolate industries, and now importantly within the countries of origin themselves.
Delivering a living income means ensuring that what farmers earn from their crop, once production costs are accounted for, is equal to, or exceeds their costs of living. There are a number of views on how these figures are calculated which need to be resolved. It is important that the farmers’ ability to increase both yield and diversification remains a key element in ensuring a living income, as should supporting farmers to build their organisations and businesses, so they can invest in growing thriving communities and can collectively decide their priorities – which has always been Fairtrade’s focus.
However this is resolved and agreed, the ultimate outcome must be that the proposed amounts actually reach the farmers themselves. The farmgate price is the price that farmers receive and there has been an expectation they would receive 70% of the ‘Free on Board’ (FOB) price. So as prices increase it is important there is transparency, particularly communicated to farmers, about the percentage of the FOB they are actually receiving.
Divine Chocolate remains committed to farmers making a Living Income and is participating in the current initiatives to make this a reality, as well as ensuring farmers themselves are actively involved in determining what this should be.