In the wake of the 2024 World Cocoa Conference in Brussels, the Ghana Civil-Society Cocoa Platform (GCCP) and the Ivorian Platform for Sustainable Cocoa (PICD) have pledged unwavering vigilance in monitoring the real progress of agreed interventions.

Highlighting the urgent need for action to align with the aspirations outlined in the Brussels Declaration, both platforms underscored the imperative for tangible outcomes to benefit cocoa farmers in West Africa.

The conference comes at a time when analysts fear that climate change and poor pricing in the West Africa region will worsen existing inequalities within the global cocoa systems, and the consumer and NGOs will not be spared.

The National Coordinator of the Platform, Nana Kwasi Barning Ackah, emphasised the pivotal role of transparency in ensuring that cocoa farmers in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire reap the rewards of the global chocolate industry, valued at over $160 billion.

Addressing issues of pricing and living income, he stressed the necessity of documenting discussions to hold chocolate producers accountable for fair compensation, essential to alleviate the plight of impoverished farmers.


The world conference brought together over 1000 stakeholders representing the global cocoa industry, coming from all over the world.

At the heart of the conference's agenda was a concerted effort to combat exploitation and environmental degradation within the cocoa industry, fostering transparency, and fair pricing mechanisms.


Founder and Chairperson of Cocoa Mmaa, Leticia Yankey, advocated for strengthened trading and pricing mechanisms to empower regulators in both countries to establish impartial farm gate prices, vital for poverty reduction and increased cocoa production.

The Executive Director of the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), Michel Arrion, reiterated commitments towards delivering legal frameworks within the cocoa value chain by the end of 2024.

Despite challenges, including pushback from certain quarters within the EU, he emphasised collaborative efforts to engage with upcoming legislation governing deforestation and human rights.

“This is centred on joint commitments from participating companies and organisations about a dedicated path of engaging with upcoming legislation governing deforestation and human rights contained within the EUDR regulations,” he said.

The Executive Secretary for Cote d’Ivoire Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CGCI), Alex Asanvo, said Global Cocoa Marketing Companies have refused to pay realistic prices for farmers and producers in West Africa.

“Today, all the global news cables are quoting $10,000 as the price for Cocoa on the international markets; this has put pressure on governments of producing countries as farmers and civil society groups push for local prices to be set at prevailing figures on the international markets which is problematic,” he said.


The Managing Director of the Voice Network, Antonie Fountain, stressed the imperative of transparency in enhancing farming household incomes, essential for sustainable cocoa production.

He highlighted the evolving discourse on environmental conservation within the cocoa sector, emphasising the need for holistic approaches to address challenges such as deforestation and climate change.

“There are challenges, but also possibilities there, and that’s something to be so hopeful for. If you look at the environment, this is actually on the agenda now.

"It was almost absent from the Global Cocoa Agenda 12 years ago, we weren’t talking about deforestation in cocoa or climate change then, or surface mining that has significantly impacted cocoa growing land in Ghana and Ivory Coast” he said.

The Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, voiced concerns over the economic implications of the new EU Regulations on Deforestation.

He emphasised the need for equitable distribution of compliance costs, urging collaborative efforts to mitigate the burden on producing countries.

“Despite the noble intentions behind the promulgation of the regulations some of which were already being addressed, there are huge ethical and economic concerns for countries like Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroun, as to who bears the extra cost of compliance which I think it’s about time to figure it out with the EU,” he said.

The General Manager of Conseil du Café Cacao, Yves Brahima Kone, lauded the positive impact of the new EU Regulations on Deforestation in safeguarding the environment and farmers' interests.

 “We are working hard to consolidate and reform Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa sector by improving farmers’ wages and forest protection,” he said.


In a show of appreciation, the GCCP and PICD commended the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) for its successful organization of the conference.

Expressing gratitude to partners such as the VOICE Network, INKOTA, Oxfam, and GIZ for their unwavering support, both platforms echoed optimism for a future where West African cocoa farmers can attain a decent living income, ensuring their overall well-being and livelihood security.

“We are very happy, believing that if we can do as discussed during the world cocoa conference, cocoa farmers in West Africa will earn a decent living income, meaning they can afford enough food and other basics such as clothing, housing and medical care,” the Platforms said.

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