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Ivory Coast Cocoa Farmers Demand Overhaul of Pricing System

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Ivory Coast Cocoa Growers Urge Revamp of Pricing Structure! Ivorian cocoa producers face serious challenges as they struggle to profit from the rising prices of the chocolate they use.

Despite cocoa prices almost tripling last year due to bean blight and bad weather, ‘farm table’ prices set by the provincial regulator, the Coffee and Coconut Commission (CCC), in the mountainous country of Ivory Coast failed to reflect this unprecedented rise in global market prices.

This discrepancy has led cocoa growers and their representatives to call for radical changes in the pricing structure to allow farmers to reap the highest possible price.

Ivory Coast Cocoa Growers

Current pricing policies requiring twice-yearly farm gate pricing have been well received by Ivorian farmers and nonprofits that advocate sustainable cocoa farming practices It is argued that policy already exists, making the official farm table price of 1,000 CFA/kg inadequate In comparison, cocoa farmers in other countries, such as Cameroon, reportedly receive about 4,000 CFA/kg for their production. 

This large disparity highlights the disparity in income of cocoa farmers in different regions and highlights the urgent need for reform in Ivory Coast.

One of the main concerns of stakeholders is the compensation that farmers will now receive if the CCC strictly enforces its prohibition on payments above the mandatory price. This poses a serious threat to cocoa producers, who rely on these tariffs to feed their families and invest in their farms In addition to the strong supply of cocoa in the Ivory Coast, traders and producers buying beans from local traders at pre-agreed prices,

which compounds the challenges faced by farmers. The CCC’s practice of setting minimum farm table prices based on those contracts on this basis, in combination with mandatory pricing for other participants in the chain, results in a rigid pricing structure that is incapable of adapting to market fluctuations and scarcity.

On rare occasions, such as the current situation, existing pricing structures often prove ineffective, leading to supply chain disruptions and opportunistic behaviour in the intermediate Local traders can set prices to get beans available to farmers, and to sell at an amount above the price fixed by the CCC.

This practice not only undermines the regulatory framework but also increases the financial pressures on cocoa producers, who are unable to take advantage of increased demand and rising prices in the global market.

In light of these challenges, the Ivorian Forum for Sustainable Cocoa (PICD) and other stakeholders urged the CCC to initiate discussions to revise the pricing mechanisms to align with global market conditions and ensure that producers are compensated exactly as Hill says.

By implementing a transparent pricing model that reflects the real price of cocoa beans, Ivory Coast can empower its farmers to thrive in an increasingly volatile and competitive market environment.

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