Côte d’Ivoire says chocolate traders do not pay farmers living wage premium

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A farmer prepares to pick up a cocoa pod at a cocoa plantation in Alepe, Côte d’Ivoire, December 7, 2020. REUTERS / Luc Gnago

ABIDJAN, June 18 (Reuters) – Major chocolate traders in Côte d’Ivoire do not pay a $ 400 a tonne bounty on beans aimed at reducing poverty among farmers, the country’s cocoa regulator said on Friday in a statement. draft letter viewed by Reuters.

The Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) said companies, including Mondelēz International Inc (MDLZ.O) were compensating for the Living Income Differential (LID) by offering a negative country differential – normally a bonus of £ 70 to 150. ($ 99 to $ 212) per tonne to reflect the quality of the beans from Côte d’Ivoire.

Mondelēz said he was paying the full LID. “(Mondelēz) does not offer or influence negative country differentials,” the company said in a statement to Reuters.

Buyers have been pushing for the country differential to be turned into a country discount, so that farmers get the extra money but prices remain globally competitive.

“In recent weeks, while we are witnessing a recovery in economic activity and therefore demand, large groups have refused to pay the LID,” said the CCC.

The world’s largest cocoa producer has been stuck in talks with exporters over the price of its beans, as a bumper crop and weak global demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with the introduction of LID, pushed prices down. sales. Read more

“(We will) stop all ongoing Mondelez sustainability and certification programs with Cargill and all other exporters,” said a CCC official who asked not to be identified.

In November, Ivory Coast and Ghana suspended Hershey Co’s (HSY.N) cocoa sustainability programs in their countries for six days, accusing the US chocolate maker of trying to avoid paying the LID.

“Unlike Hershey, this time we’re going to be tough on the chocolatiers who want to bypass the LID. For us, that’s unacceptable,” the CCC official said.

Reporting by Ange Aboa in Abidjan Writing by Hereward Holland Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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