The purpose of the project is to demonstrate that an integrated approach that combines higher prices (a living income reference price) as well as improved productivity (including better agricultural practices, inputs, diversification) is needed to improve cocoa farmers’ household incomes.
Mission allies in the Open Chain pay a Living Income Reference Price for cocoa beans. That means Tony’s pays an additional $ 825 per MT, which is 63% above the market price (based on the 19/20 cocoa season). Simply paying this higher price does not result in a living income for farmers however; it needs to happen in tandem with other activities.
As such, the project will work on increasing productivity and diversification through the implementation of Individual Farmer Development Plans (IFDP) and coaching. Digitization of these plans at the coops will allow them to service their farmers better and gain efficiencies of scale in their procurement. The project will show that the total investments in the IFDP methodology are earned back through an increased productivity in cocoa and higher yields from diversification.
Lastly, the project will help create labor gangs equipped with technical expertise and dedicated machinery. Farmers have the option of reinvesting the premium they receive in technical assistance of such a gang.
Research shows that more than 1.3 million children work on farms in Côte d’Ivoire under illegal circumstances. The project wants to counter this trend by ensuring all farmers in the cooperative are part of Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Services (CLMRS). This allows Tony’s Chocolonely to monitor the risk of child labor more closely at the partner cooperatives and intervene more effectively. The system is based on the presence of community facilitators from within cocoa-growing communities, and raises awareness on the issue of child labor, as well as supporting the cooperatives the project works with to identify instances of illegal child labor, to find solutions, and to prevent the (re)occurrence of illegal child labor. Through CLMRS, child labor cases are identified and remediated.
Secondly, by focusing on professionalizing existing labor gangs, the project will improve the working conditions of day-laborers and decrease the risk of child labor.
The project will roll-out an agro-forestry program and will develop shade tree nursery capacity for 20+ species in the community. The project will track how many farmers are actively planting shade trees and encourage this activity. Additionally, through GPS mapping of all farms, the project will identify farmers that are located in protected areas. Remediation of the situation these farmers find themselves in will be implemented through diversification of livelihood .