While most of the world’s cocoa comes from West African countries, such as Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, Fairtrade also works with other small-scale farmers in a total of 20 countries in South America, Africa, and Asia.

Fairtrade cocoa can be found in all types of chocolate products, and even in a few items you might not suspect, such as moisturizing cream. The first cocoa product to bear the FAIRTRADE Mark was Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate bar back in 1994.This marked Fairtrade’s entry into the global confectionery market, an industry currently worth around $150 billion per year.

What Fairtrade Means for Cocoa Producers

Fairtrade cocoa offers farmers the opportunity to make a living from their hard work. Cocoa farmers selling Fairtrade earn at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price and oftentimes more depending on the quality and current market prices. A Fairtrade Premium above the purchase price is used by cooperatives for social and economic investments such as education, health services, processing equipment and loans to members.

The FAIRTRADE Mark on a product also provides consumers with the assurance that Fairtrade cocoa producers are regularly audited against the strict child labour standards that prohibit the worst form of child labour and forced (bonded) labour.

You can read a number of case-studies of Fairtrade cocoa producers on the Fairtrade Foundation's website. Read more

General Cocoa Facts

  • Did you know cocoa is considered a tropical plant? It grows on trees and in a hot, rainy climate. Hence, it can only be cultivated in close proximity to the equator.
  • Fruit pods from cocoa trees contain 30-40 seeds, which are extracted, fermented and dried in the sun turning them into cocoa beans.
  • The Netherlands is the global leader in cocoa trade and has committed using sustainable cocoa for all domestic cocoa and chocolate products by 2025.
  • Côte d’Ivoire (1.5 million tonnes), Ghana (842,000 tonnes) and Indonesia (447,000 tonnes) produce the largest shares of the annual global production of 4 million tonnes.
  • Around the world, 90 percent of the cocoa is grown and harvested on small-scale family farms.

Where to Buy

Fairtrade certified cocoa and chocolate products may be available in your market. If you can’t find Fairtrade chocolate, request it at your favourite retailer or get in touch with your local Fairtrade organization by checking out Fairtrade Near You.

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