The project aims to secure a living income for 1000 Cacao-Trace and Fairtrade farmers by engaging in an innovative qualitative conversion and long term commercial partnership. The project partners will ensure that the farmers participating in the project will be paid the Living Income Reference Price and that route to market will be ensured for them through long term contracts.
The project will focus on the following living income drivers.
The project will compile two certifications, Cacao Trace and Fairtrade, to ensure to cocoa grower the Living income reference Price of 2200usd/Kg. The Fairtrade component will guarantee a floor price (2400 FOB) and an extra premium of 240 USD/MT for the cooperative. The premium use will be democratically agreed by the cooperative.
Furthermore, the project will mutualize post-harvest steps (fermentation and drying) at village level which will ensure superior quality of beans and chocolates and thus help increase farmer incomes. Moreover, it will free up farmers’ time for other income generating activities and allow for a direct link between dedicated communities and selected customers. The point is not that Puratos takes on the long run the full responsibility of the post-harvest process, but that the management of the center should be gradually transferred to the communities.
Puratos will also ensure route to market for the project and encourage its customers to engage individually and for long term toward dedicated farming communities. Through Puratos’ Belgian Foundation “The next generation cocoa foundation”, partner chocolatiers engaging in the project will have an easy & transparent vehicle to contribute further and on free will basis to farmer income and bridge the gap toward LIRP.
Lastly, project partners will deploy agroforestry within the program and will extend it to surrounding communities. This Agroforestry component will be organized through a Carbon in setting program by Pur Projet (on the behalf of Puratos). Seedlings and requested training will be distributed in the communities. The objective is to bring additional income through increased cocoa yield and diversified sources of income.
Ending Child Labor
Under the Cacao Trace Program, the participating farming households will be covered by Child Labor Remediation and monitoring Systems ( CLRMS). Digital systems will allow to monitor the children in the farmers’ households and their access to education through local community leaders and annual surveys.
By purchasing cocoa under Fairtrade conditions, the cooperative will also need to be compliant with the Fairtrade standards including the respect of ILO conventions where child labour is forbidden. Fairtrade also working on a preventive way on the ground in order open dialogue with the cooperative, the farmers and the children and give them the tools and knowledge to monitor and remediate when necessary. To complete the systemic approach of child labor, the Cacao-trace Chocolate Bonus is invested partially in education though financing of school infrastructure, education materials and schools fees.
Fighting deforestation in Ivory Coast is a challenge since there are many cocoa farms in illegal areas. Strict community selection and strict flow management need to be put in place to offer solutions to this issue. Therefore, the project will include farm mapping and traceability systems that prevent any sourcing from protected areas.
The Project aims to give a prominent role to women in the management of the community fermentation centers. Women’s task in these centers will include handling the pre-financing aspect together with the coops, organizing the post-harvest operation, and stock and logistic management. Furthermore, the cooperatives will take part in the Women School of Leadership trainings from Fairtrade Africa. These trainings will enhance the self-confidence and self-esteem of individual women, empowering them to understand their rights, build their financial and farming skills, and support other women farmers.