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Low cocoa prices constitute a violation of human rights

Siapha Kamara, Chief Executive Officer of SEND Ghana, claims that the low prices paid to cocoa farmers amount to human rights violations.

According to Siapha Kamara, the condition of cocoa farmers is deteriorating, while market forces determine cocoa farmer prices.

On Wednesday, he was speaking to journalists at a high-level “Conference on Living Income and Human Rights in Ghana’s Cocoa Sector.”

According to the forum of civil society organisations in the cocoa sector, the six largest chocolate companies in the cocoa sector alone made $11.6 billion in profit in 2021, a 21.1 percent increase from the previous year.

Cocoa farmers’ income, on the other hand, fell by 16.4 percent.

According to Siapha Kamara of the Civil Society Platform, during the COVID-19 period, consumption of cocoa products increased, as did dividends paid to shareholders in companies buying cocoa from Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire, but the situation of cocoa farmers deteriorated.

“We can see it in the sector’s expansion of galamsey.” We want to draw attention to the sector’s abuses, particularly those involving pricing and violence against children and women.

“We also believe that farmers in the cocoa sector should be encouraged to organise themselves.” The days of COCOBOD deciding things for farmers are long gone. Farmers should be allowed to be self-sufficient. CSOs in the cocoa sector are assisting farmers in becoming self-sufficient and self-organized.

“The days of children in developed countries chewing our cocoa and getting fat while children in developing countries work and don’t go to school and die must be over,” he said.

According to a monitoring report released by the German platform for sustainable cocoa (GISCO), which has 67 members including CSOs and the government, the average premium on cocoa ranged from 133 dollars per metric tonnes in Cote D’Ivoire to $183 per metric tonnes in Ghana, but premiums are paid on only about half of the cocoa purchased in the two countries. CIGCI, the Cote d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative, has called for an average Free On Board (FOB) price of around 70%, which translates to $1,820 per metric tonne for the farmer.
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire alone account for roughly 60% of global cocoa production.

In response to the international chocolate market’s lack of support and resistance, the two countries recently boycotted a two-day global conference on cocoa sustainability in Brussels, Belgium.

Tawiah Agyarko-Kwarteng, Assistant Executive Secretary of the Cote D’Ivoire – Ghana Cocoa Initiative, stated.

“If we want to ensure the sector’s sustainability, the cocoa trade cannot be subjected to merely market fundamentals that are aligned with sustainability.”

According to her, in July of this year, the governments of the two countries invited 16 of the leading cocoa companies to sign statements of intent toward the development of an economic pact for sustainable cocoa in order to take concrete steps to increase cocoa farmer prices.

Meanwhile, John Osei Frimpong, MP for Abirem Constituency and Chairman of the Parliament’s Committee on Food and Agriculture, stated that parliament will continue to oversee the sector and ensure fair treatment of farmers.

Also read:  EU is not banning Ghana’s cocoa exports – EU Ambassador

“The COCOBOD leadership and government are in discussions with the European Union, where we send the majority of our cocoa.” We recently visited Brussels and addressed their parliament, and they are looking into the matter. We discussed it. We informed them that cocoa farmers in the producing countries are struggling. As a result, we are working hard to ensure that the right thing is done. The issue here is that they are in business, and they take advantage of the situation to dictate the pace and take a portion of our cocoa. We can only fight this by working together with Cote d’Ivoire.”

Source: 3news

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