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GHANA, CÔTE D’IVOIRE AGREE ON MEASURES TO TACKLE COUNTRY ORIGIN DIFFERENTIAL EROSION

Date: 18th May 2022

Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire have agreed on measures to tackle the discounting of country origin differentials (premium differentials) on cocoa from the two-leading cocoa-producing countries.

At a press briefing held after a three-day meeting between the cocoa regulatory authorities of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, in Abidjan, the Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said the two countries have agreed to publish the names of their cocoa buyers and indicate the country origin differential payers and non-payers.

"In the immediate term, we are going to begin the publication of all the buyers of cocoa from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire who pay as well as those who do not pay the country origin differentials", he announced.

Hon Aidoo said the challenge of discounting country origin differentials (premium differentials) by buyers of cocoa came in response to the introduction of the Living Income Differential (LID) which was instituted by the two Western African cocoa giants to help improve the remuneration of cocoa farmers.

" We all know that we introduced the Living Income Differential with the hope to improve the remuneration of our farmers,” he said, “but what we’ve also noticed is that, whereas the industry actors are paying the Living Income Differential, they are discounting the country origin differentials, which is very, very,  damaging to us because once the country origin differentials are discounted, it weakens the price and for that matter the income which eventually ends up in the hands of [cocoa] farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire”, he bemoaned.

“So, we came here to reposition and then relook at the pricing mechanism, and we have come up with a number of measures which we are going to roll out”, he added.

He said some buyers are discounting the country origin differentials by as much as US$270 to US$300 per tonne of cocoa.

“Meanwhile, the price of chocolate in the consumer market is going up at a time when cocoa prices are falling. It cannot be the case. We ought to change this narrative to ensure that the consumer gets better chocolate with a high content of chocolate and while the consumer is paying, the money gets to the producers,” Hon Aidoo said in his statement.

“We want to sound this to all the industry players to take note that from the end of May, which is this month, we are going to publish all companies that buy cocoa from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, who pay or do not pay premium differentials for both countries,” he emphasised.

At the meeting, the Ghanaian delegation, and their Ivorian counterparts pledged to intensify their collective efforts to attain a sustainable price for cocoa and decent incomes for cocoa farmers in the two countries.

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