Oxfam fair trade chocolate

Standing up for a sustainable cocoa sector!

Of course you’ll choose the fair trade chocolate from Oxfam for its high quality, because it’s made according to the Belgian tradition and it’s available in your favourite flavour … But above all because our Oxfam chocolate tastes of pure sustainability. The cocoa producers in Ivory Coast earn a significantly better income. And you support Oxfam’s work of eradicating deep-rooted poverty, child labour and deforestation. If that doesn’t whet your appetite we don’t know what will!

Why is fair trade chocolate more sustainable?

Most cocoa farmers live in extreme poverty. On average they earn about a third of what they need to cover their basic needs. Because of this systematic deficit cocoa producers and their families can’t make any sustainable plans for the future.

Consequences: child labour is widely spread in the cocoa cultivation in Ivory Coast and Ghana (which together make up approximately 60% of the global cocoa production).

How is this possible? The entire world wants chocolate and still cocoa producers aren’t able to monetise their ‘golden’ resource? The global cocoa sector is dominated by just a handful of companies. This concentration of power doesn’t give small-scale farmers a fair chance. It facilitates the violation of their human rights.

And the rainforest is also a victim of cocoa cultivation. It’s the number one reason for deforestation in Ivory Coast and Ghana. The last remaining patches of rainforest are severely endangered. But the producers don’t see any other way of ensuring their meagre income.

Fair trade addresses the structural poverty of the cocoa cultivators, because that’s the root of all problems.

Towards sustainable Belgian chocolate

In 2018 Oxfam signed the Belgian multi-stakeholder platform Beyond chocolate in which the Belgian chocolate sector vows to guarantee at least a living income for all cocoa farmers who produce the raw materials for our national treat by 2030. Ambition is one thing but it has to be translated into actions and transparency. Oxfam is the sector’s watchdog!

All too often the price a farmer gets for their cocoa is still a blind spot in the sustainability strategies of chocolate companies. As a frontrunner in fair trade its our duty to set a good example. We want to raise the bar.

Bart Van Besien, cocoa supply chain expert at Oxfam Belgium

How does Oxfam chocolate improve the lives of cocoa producers?

Cocoa farmers don’t need charity. They have rights! And those rights need to be respected. By paying a fair price, for example, and long-term contracts that allow them to better spread their risks.

As the Belgian pioneer in fair trade we continually raise the bar and set a good example for other companies.

We purchase directly from cocoa cooperatives

By being a reliable trade partner we make it possible for cooperatives to develop in an autonomous manner. We help newly-formed cooperatives take their first steps and we create extra impact on the income and wellbeing of the members of well-established cooperatives and on the environment.

We pay a significantly higher price

Current cocoa prices make it impossible for cocoa farmers to earn a living income. That’s why Oxfam pays significantly higher prices and deals directly with the farmers. In the Bite to Fight project we collaborate with the farmers to bridge the entire gap to a living income. This way we show the rest of the cocoa sector that it is in fact possible.

We invest in sustainable cocoa production

We inform our cocoa partners about sustainable alternatives to deforestation. Because there is no need to claim even more of the rainforest when the cocoa plants don’t generate much yield. In agro-ecological orchards young cocoa trees are planted among the old ones. In addition to cocoa trees there are also other trees that provide food and standard trees that provide shade to the farmers and extra revenue from the wood.

We’re fighting for a fair and sustainable cocoa and chocolate sector

Through research and lobbying we hold the people in power accountable, both in Belgium and at an international level (with the VOICE Network). Every two years we publish a Cocoa barometer both to make the sector take a good look in the mirror and to point out their responsibilities.

We take a stand for the rights of farmers and their families. This way, together with our partners, we work towards a living income for cocoa farmers and legislation that protect small-scale producers.

Bite to Fight chocolate: even bigger impact, same great quality

For the cocoa in Bite To Fight chocolate Oxfam pays the farmers an extra premium on top of the fair trade minimum price and the fair trade premium that all our producers receive. This way we want to bridge the gap to a living income for West African cocoa farmers.

The campaign behind this product range also informs about the challenges in the chocolate sector. We won a global award from Fairtrade International with it in 2020.

And the chocolate? That remains as delicious as ever of course!

Pilot project in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast supplies 40% of all the cocoa in the world. And still farmers there are the poorest in the world and problems like child labour and deforestation run rampant.

Since 2015 Oxfam Fair Trade has been collaborating with Ivory Coast cocoa cooperative CPR Canaan. Its motivated president, Virginie Gnako, invests heavily in positive change, including ecology and the role of women in cocoa cultivation.

The extra premium that CPR Canaan has been receiving since 2019 is invested democratically in future-oriented, sustainable measures. Examples include the improvement of sanitary infrastructure, access to drinking water, sustainable farming and cultivation diversification such as tomatoes. These all contribute directly to the quality and yield of the cocoa harvest.

And that in turn makes it possible for the cocoa farmers to earn a living income.

What is Bite to Fight?

See this logo? That means Oxfam Fair Trade pays an extra premium to the cocoa farmers on top of the globally applied fair trade price and premium.

This Oxfam premium bridges the gap for our cocoa partners and their families. This way they earn a living income for their sustainable work and it allows them to gradually build a buffer for when they fall on harder times.

Term: Tablets