Rikolto Podcast: 100% sustainable chocolate may no longer be a dream

Rikolto Podcast: 100% sustainable chocolate may no longer be a dream

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Podcast interview by Geraldine Masso, communication consultant for Rikolto, and Abdulahi Aliyu, coordinator of Rikolto's global cocoa programme.

In this second episode, Abdulahi explains the concept of Living Income in the cocoa value chain and the complex factors that need to be in place to produce a chocolate bar that is delicious and good for the people and the planet. Abdulahi is based in Ghana, a major cocoa producer country with 70% of global cocoa production sourced together from Côte d’Ivoire. Geraldine is from Honduras, a country with the second-largest cocoa production in Central America. It is also internationally recognised as having one of the best beans in the world. So, let's listen to both, born in two cocoa-producing countries on opposite sides of the globe.

Listen to the podcast here!

Main Takeaways

  • Living income refers to the net annual income a farmer’s family needs to fulfil their basic human rights in a specific location. The income that comes from cocoa production within a year should allow farmers to have access to education, and nutritious food, health services and water sanitation, to mention a few basic human rights.
  • Rikolto implements this approach in Ghana to test the implementation and calculation of this new concept. In Ghana, we are working with Lidl, Fairtrade Belgium & International and the farmers’ organisation Kuapa Kokoo, with the aim of producing and selling a chocolate bar that is 100% sustainable across the supply chain.
  • Within the project, Lidl invests in the smallholder cocoa farmers to diversify their production, e.g., so they can produce jam in addition to cocoa. Also, in order to generate additional business opportunities with young cocoa farmers in the community to increase their incomes.
  • Rikolto is a facilitator of this approach: we work to professionalise the farmers’ organisation. We support farmers to improve their production, which means increasing their production per area, to reduce the area of land used. We also work with them to increase their access to finance. On the side of private companies such as Lidl, Rikolto supports them to create a business model that considers the living income of farmers to produce a 100% sustainable chocolate bar.
  • If we think about youth inclusion, young people don’t want to get involved because cocoa production is a long-term investment commodity. What we can do is to support them to start Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that will provide services such as pruning and weeding.
  • If we consider the challenges that cocoa farmers are facing, such as access to quality inputs to improve their cocoa production, young people can take the role of providing these inputs - these are business opportunities for them! There are many needs in the production side of the cocoa industry that can be tackled as business opportunities for young entrepreneurs.

Want to know more about how Lidl is joining forces with Rikolto, Fairtrade and Kuapa Kokoo to produce and sell Way2Go? a chocolate bar that is 100% sustainable across the supply chain.

Check the project!