World Cocoa Conference in Berlin:
Recently, low prices paid to cocoa farmers at the farm-gate have been the major concern of discussions across the global cocoa value chain. Cameroon, the world’s sixth producer, could not remain indifferent.
It was at the 4th World Cocoa Conference that held from April 22-25 in Berlin, Germany that Mr. Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, Minister of Trade decried the disproportion between world market price and farmers’ prices.
“Current market prices are just unacceptable… It is time for us to go beyond speeches. Our poor farmers can no longer take it. They are dying slowly under the weight of prices on the borderline of slavery”, said the Minister of Trade during his address.
According to figures from the National Cocoa and Coffee Board, farmers in the Southwest Region were only paid between 900 and 980FCFA/Kg, which is less than 70% of the average FOB price for the month of April.
Paradoxically, while a kilogramme of cocoa processed into chocolate fetches 7500FCFA, the farmer who constitutes the stronger link of the value chain only gets to receive 12% of that price. Again, out of the $100 billion generated by the chocolate industry in 2017, farmers only received 6%, according to a study by ICCO.
The 4th WCC in Berlin brought together more than 1500 participants drawn from 64 countries representing various government representatives, chocolate-makers, traders, cocoa processors, top companies in the domains of logistics, finance and insurance.