cocoa plant


Despite a reduction in consumption that has made some chocolate companies look for ways to avoid compliance, the world’s top cocoa growers still insist that the $100 billion chocolate industry must pay a premium designed to help West African farmers.

Comments from Alex Assanvo to new Executive Director of the steering group the Ivory Coast Ghana Cocoa Initiative (ICCG) show that he is starting out the right way.

We need to lift cocoa farmers out of poverty…This is not negotiable and we will be uncompromising – Alex Assanvo, Executive Secretary to the Ivory Coast Ghana Cocoa Initiative (ICCIG)

From the beginning of the current farming season, Côte d’Ivoire and neighbouring Ghana, which account for almost 70% of global cocoa production, required a premium for farmers by charging buyers, including the big corporations ranging from Cargill Inc to Mars a premium of $400 per metric tonne. West African officials have accused some corporations of breaking their commitment to improving farmers lives

The appointment of Alex Assanvo, a former Mars Wrigley director, to the ICCIG which advises the top cocoa growers’ and influences cocoa prices and standards in a poacher turned gamekeeper move, will hopefully result in some more effective strategies.

The health crisis has caused an economic slowdown, a drop in consumption, and it has also made the market more hesitant…Still, we will continue to work hand-in-hand to reach our objectives. – Alex Assanvo, Executive Director of the ICCG

Assnavo needs to hit an assertive note, but one that is slightly less combative and more constructive than has come out of the West African countries previously.

A better negotiating strategy for the cocoa producers may not be starting with compromise, but standing firm on what can realistically be achieved. Assanvo is well-positioned to understand where that boundary lies.

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