Ivorian Cocoa: agreement in sight?

Determined for months to find a solution to better remunerate cocoa producers, the Ivorian authorities have, according to local media reports, concluded an agreement with traders and industrialists in the sector in order to obtain « 200 CFA francs of addition » on the guaranteed price of the bean.

The information, which has yet to be confirmed, was disclosed by a source close to the file. « With the agreements that Côte d’Ivoire has just had with industrialists, it will be 200 CFA francs ($0.35) in addition to the producer’s benefit, particularly on the guaranteed price, which should be raised to around 1,000 CFA francs that we will have next year, for the 2020-2021 campaign, » said the same source, quoted Tuesday in several publications.
If the agreement were to materialize, it would be a major victory for Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the world’s two largest cocoa producers (more than 60% of world production), who have been working for months to raise the minimum price per tonne for the benefit of farmers. As recalled in a recent World Bank report on Côte d’Ivoire published in July, more than half of the producers live below the poverty line, with less than 757 CFA francs ($1.2) per day. As for the revenues generated by the cocoa sector, nearly 80% of the gains are concentrated downstream of the value chain, particularly in the processing and distribution of finished products to consumers; two stages in which Côte d’Ivoire plays a negligible role.

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Nevertheless, many observers remain cautious, particularly with regard to the entry into force of this « new » guaranteed price. The source mentioned above thus refers to the 2020/21 campaign, while some media are expecting a start at the time of the next 2019/20 campaign, i.e. from 1 October next.