The cocoa industry is complex and sprawling, with farming alone supporting more than 50 million livelihoods. Most of these farmers are smallholders, with Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana producing more than 60% of the world’s cocoa.
Regrettably, the majority of these farmers fail to earn a sufficient income to make a living. This financial constraint lies at the heart of many ongoing issues in the cocoa sector. When farmers remain in a state of economic hardship, cocoa farming cannot become a sustainable enterprise. Consequently, closing the Living Income Gap has become a crucial objective, aiming to bridge the disparity between a household’s present earnings and the Living Income Benchmark, which covers all essential expenses. Nevertheless, the means by which to achieve this objective continues to be a matter of intense debate.
The aim of the Farmer Livelihoods pillar is to improve the standard of living for smallholder farmers in ETG’s supply chain. Key to this pillar is the concept of a Living Income, that is, the net annual income required by a household for everyone in that household to achieve a decent living standard, including access to water, housing, healthcare, food, education, and a buffer against potential economic shocks.