Baseline for assessing the impact of fairtrade certification on cocoa farmers and cooperatives in Ghana

Côte d’ Ivoire and Ghana, the two biggest Fairtrade cocoa producers in West Africa, provide about 68 percent of the Fairtrade cocoa that is sold under Fairtrade terms in global markets. In 2013, the volume of Fairtrade cocoa from West Africa reached 133 400 t, involving some 71 cooperatives and producer associations and 138 800 farmers. Most Fairtrade cocoa from West Africa originates from Côte d’Ivoire (CDI) and Ghana, the latter being the subject of this report.

Fairtrade cocoa in Ghana has expanded rapidly in recent years: between 2009 and 2014, sales increased from 481 to 54 600 tonnes, while the number of Fairtrade cooperative unions grew from only one in 2009 to 11 in 2014. The expanding Fairtrade cocoa sector in Ghana faces many of the same challenges as the West African cocoa sector as a whole, including low productivity and poverty in farming communities, limited infrastructure, a rapidly aging farming population, lack of electricity and portable water, and few examples of strong rural cooperatives or other forms of smallholder business organizations.

In this context, important questions arise, such as: What are the capacities and the potential of cooperatives and resource-poor farmers to benefit from participation in Fairtrade certification? How can Fairtrade and partners help address the constraints and opportunities faced by cocoa growers, cooperatives and other players in the cocoa chain?

Author(s): Foundjem-Tita, D.; Donovan, J.; Stoian, D.; Degrande, A.

Year: 2016