The latest findings by six international civil society platform in the cocoa sector have revealed that some chocolate companies are failing to pay the living income differential meant to improve the wellbeing of farmers in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

President Akufo-Addo was applauded last year after he announced the introduction of a $400 a tonne Living Income Differential for cocoa farmers.

But, the Easter Scorecard ranking the performance of global chocolate companies reveal they are shortchanging farmers in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire by not paying what farmers deserve.

The 2021 Easter Scorecard ranks and grades chocolate companies on key sustainability issues.

The key sustainability issues are human rights due diligence, transparency and traceability, living income, child labour, deforestation and climate, and agro-forestry.

Managing campaigner for EcoCare Ghana, Obed Owusu-Addai said the majority of the chocolate companies that were assessed are only paying the base rate determined by the international market and are not paying extra to support the living income of farmers.

“Ghana and Cote D Ivoire managed to get $400 dollars extra money as living income differential for farmers, but, what we found out was that these multinationals are using excuses such as covid pandemic to evade the payment of this extra income,” he explained.

The survey developed by Working together, Mighty Earth, Green America, INKOTA, National Wildlife Federation and Be Slavery Free (Australia and The Netherlands) were sent to the chocolate companies to make an input on the issue.

Mr Owusu-Addai said the companies were selected from the largest cocoa traders and chocolate manufacturers in the industry to smaller innovative companies.

He noted that many of the chocolate companies are not doing enough to improve the livelihood of cocoa farmers given that 65 percent of cocoa comes from Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire.

He pointed out that of the 60 chocolate companies sampled in the survey, only few scored high in the key indicators they were marked against.

“We must begin to question these multinational companies when they come with the sustainability programmes they advertise seeking to improve the livelihood of farmers.”

Managing campaigner for EcoCare Ghana said the chocolate manufacturing companies are not doing enough to address the issue of child labour.

“The ultimate reason why parents take their children to the farm is because of poverty. These multinationals are making billions from the cocoa but they are not investing in the farmers,” he explained.

He stated that the multinationals are also not investing in monitoring programs to curb the practise of child labour on cocoa farms.