Ghana Can Earn $1.9bn Premiums On Cocoa Through Fairtrade System

Ghana can fetch $1.9 billion as premiums if it trades its 900,000 tons of cocoa produced annually under the Fairtrade system, Mr Larry Attipoe, International Development Consultant for Fairtrade Africa, has indicated.

He said a metric ton of cocoa beans sold under Fairtrade attracts an additional premium of $200 than the conventional trade, which short-changes farmers. The premium, he said, goes directly to the farmers and workers to improve their livelihoods.

In the 2016/2017 season alone, Fairtrade Africa ranked in $7,147,546 for Ghanaian cocoa producers and workers as premium on cocoa beans sold under the Fairtrade system.

Mr Attipoe, who was speaking at a Fairtrade Africa training programme for selected journalists in Accra, said it was important for farmers to get the best out of their produce and be empowered to challenge and negotiate for better deals.

“Only six per cent of the value of a bar of chocolate gets to the farmers and so what Fairtrade is doing is to get more money or a chunk of the money to the farmers.

“Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire produces 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa, but the cocoa is sold at a price determined by non-producers. It is important for the two countries to come together to challenge and negotiate better prices for its smallholder farmers who are the majority producers of cocoa.”

He said Fairtrade was very important to development, which, for him, was underutilised in Ghana.

Fairtrade is a global movement which addressees the injustices of conventional trade by supporting smallholder farmers and workers to secure better terms of trade.

It is an alternative approach based on partnership between producers and traders, businesses and consumers. And products that carry the Fairtrade mark means the producers and consumers have met Fairtrade standards.

Mr Benjamin Kwesi Asare, Business Support Officer, said Fairtrade Africa serves as a producer network within the system and represents all Fairtrade certified producers in Africa who abide by the standards. The network, he added, was made up of small producer organisations and workers in plantations.

He explained that Fairtrade’s aim was to connect disadvantaged producers and consumers by promoting fairer trading conditions and empowering producers to combat poverty while strengthening their position in the supply chain.

In Ghana, he said Fairtrade covers nine regions and works with 27 small producer organisations in cocoa, citrus, pineapple, shea, cashew, and coconut, comprising of 124,536 producers, in addition to seven hired labour plantations in banana and pineapple which also comprises of 7,892 workers.

Fairtrade Africa has since 2014 been acquiring millions of dollars for Ghanaian smallholders farmers and workers as premiums on products traded under the Fairtrade system. In the 2016/2017 season, it accrued $10,745,201.52 as premiums on products.
Part of the monetary benefits per the standards of Fairtrade is to be invested in community development, which some of the organisations have used in building schools, clinics and office facilities.