Chocolate improves living incomes
Fairly traded, transparent supply chains and an additional income for the smallholder families From the cocoa bean to the supermarket shelf, the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA) has supported the production of a chocolate bar. Now the VeryFair chocolate can be found at Rewe and Penny in three flavors: 'Whole Milk & Salted Caramel', 'Dark & Almond' and 'Darkmilk & Brownie'.
The chocolate is a result of the 'Fair Income in Tree Crops' project, a cooperation between Rewe Group, Fairtrade Germany and the INA on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The main objective is to support smallholder farms at the beginning of the supply chain by earning a living wage. In addition to the respective Fairtrade premiums and Fairtrade minimum prices, cocoa producers receive a monetary premium, the so-called ‘Fairtrade Living Income Differential’. Besides, the cocoa mass supply chain is fully traceable back to the producing cooperative.
The joint project deliberately takes a holistic approach: additively to the payment of the "Fairtrade Living Income Differential," it includes training sessions implemented by INA and its local partners. The training focuses on more sustainable farming practices, farm management efficiency and improved management of the cooperatives. To provide alternative sources of income other crops such as cashew trees are also promoted.
Local partners include the Ministry of Agriculture in Ghana, the Cashew & Cotton Board in Côte d'Ivoire, and the GIZ-Competitive Cashew Initiative (ComCashew). They were present when the first incomes were paid at a ceremony in April 2021: Each farmer and each farmer's wife received a cash payment according to the quantities delivered under the project. Many proud faces marked the event and forward-looking plans were made to use the income - from educating children to investing in their own farms.