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The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) estimates that there are approximately 14 million people directly involved in cocoa production.


Learn more about cocoa production:

  • Globally, 6.6 billion pounds of cocoa was produced in the 1999-2000 harvest season.

  • North America is the world's largest chocolate consumer. In 2000, the U.S. imported 729,000 tons of cocoa beans/processed products, ate 3.3 billion pounds of chocolate and spent $13 billion on it.

  • According to the European Fair Trade Association, farmers get barely 5 percent of the profit from chocolate, whereas trading organizations and the chocolate industry receive about 70 percent. This means that producers get only 5 cents from every dollar spent on chocolate, while the companies get 70 cents (14 times more).

  • A 1998 report from UNICEF stated that some Ivory Coast farmers use child slaves, many from poor neighboring countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo.

  • The U.S. State Department's Human Rights Report in 2000 acknowledged that some 15,000 children between the ages of nine and 12 have been sold into forced labor on cotton, coffee and cocoa plantations in northern Ivory Coast in recent years.

  • A 2001 document, released by the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Labor Organization, reported that trafficking in children is widespread in West Africa.

  • West African economies are critically dependent on cocoa. Cocoa revenues account for more than 33 percent of Ghana's total export earnings and 40 percent of the Ivory Coast's total export earnings.

  • West Africa has been the center of world cocoa cultivation for the last 60 years, today producing over 67 percent of the world's crop. Ivory Coast is the giant in world production -- with a 95 percent increase in output over the 1980's. It now holds 43 percent of the world market.

  • 90 percent of the world's cocoa is grown on small family farms of 12 acres or less.

  • The Fair Trade Certified production criteria guarantee a minimum price and insure that no child or forced labor is used. The criteria also stipulate that farmers' organizations should be organized democratically, and that plantation workers should be able to participate in trade union activities. Fair trade producers are monitored at least once a year.

  • Fair trade cocoa is produced by cooperatives representing about 42,000 farmers from eight countries: Ghana, Cameroon, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Belize.

  • In 2000, fair trade cooperatives produced 89 million pounds of cocoa, but only three million pounds were sold at fair trade prices.


Source: Global Exchange 

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by Barnhill, David L. last modified Nov 02, 2011 12:09 PM
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