The Fairtrade Cocoa Program

The Fairtrade Cocoa Program is a great new way for farmers to sell more of their cocoa as Fairtrade and to bring more benefits into their farms and communities.

It connects cocoa farmers with the growing number of businesses that want to buy their cocoa fairly and sustainably to use across their product ranges or even across their whole business. This means more Fairtrade benefits for farmers, and more ways to support Fairtrade farmers through your everyday shopping.

The Opportunity for Fairtrade Cocoa Farmers

From Ivory Coast to Ecuador, Ghana to Peru, millions of farmers grow the cocoa we love. Most are small-scale farmers, living on a very low income. For the 144,000 Fairtrade cocoa farmers worldwide, Fairtrade means a more stable source of income and extra money to invest in projects of their choice - like building schools, buying farm equipment, and improving the quality of their crop.

But at the moment only 1.2% of the world’s cocoa is sold on Fairtrade terms. That means only a small number of the 50 million people who depend on cocoa are experiencing the fairer deal Fairtrade can bring. Farmers could transform their lives if they were able sell more of their cocoa as Fairtrade.

So it’s exciting that there’s now huge potential for farmers to do just that. A growing number of companies are making public commitments to source more, or even all, of their cocoa responsibly. Through the Fairtrade Cocoa Program, farmers can access these new opportunities.

How the Fairtrade Cocoa Program works

The Fairtrade Cocoa Program enables companies to buy Fairtrade cocoa in bulk, for example all the cocoa they need to produce their chocolate bars, cakes and biscuits. Companies can also commit to purchase a percentage of their total cocoa as Fairtrade, such as 10%, 30% or even all the cocoa they need. It’s a new way for businesses to commit to Fairtrade, alongside labelling and certifying end consumer products with the FARTRADE Mark.

Companies wishing to publicly communicate their commitment under the Fairtrade Cocoa Program can use a new Mark which makes it very clear that their cocoa is purchased on Fairtrade terms. Find out the rules for using it here.

Interview with Fortin Bley, Fairtrade Cocoa Farmer in the Ivory Coast.

What the Fairtrade Cocoa Program means for farmers

“Thousands of farmers in West Africa are in need of new opportunities to sell their cocoa and cotton as Fairtrade. We need action to turn this situation around, to truly transform the lives of African producers. Fairtrade Sourcing Programs are an important part of the solution.”
Chief Adam Tampuri, Chair of Fairtrade Africa and member of the Fairtrade International Board

The Fairtrade Cocoa Program is a great new way for farmers to sell their cocoa on Fairtrade terms, to more types of companies. Farmers will receive all the same Fairtrade benefits under the Fairtrade Cocoa Program, including the protection of a Minimum Price and the Fairtrade Premium. 

More Fairtrade cocoa sales will enable farmers to invest in their farms and communities, and enable Fairtrade to invest in additional support programs, tailored to meet each group’s specific needs. Many cocoa farmer groups, especially in West Africa, need support to turn their organizations into strong, thriving businesses.

This includes:

  • Setting up training programmes for their farmers - often scattered across remote villages,
  • Support in improving the quality of their cocoa,
  • Improving their negotiation and business skills.

Read more on how Fairtrade works here.

In 2012, Fairtrade cocoa farmers received around 7 million Euros in Fairtrade Premium money. As we continue to develop the Fairtrade Cocoa Program we’re looking forward to seeing that number grow.

Fairtrade in Action: CONACADO Cooperative

Mariano Manzuela of CONACADO

CONACADO cooperative has used its Fairtrade Premium to improve the quality of its beans, start conversion to organic farming, and build classrooms for the local school. It’s now one of the most successful cooperatives in the Dominican Republic, exporting its Fairtrade cocoa worldwide. (Read more here).


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