World Chocolate Day isn’t just a day to indulge in your favorite treat – it’s also an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of cocoa farmers.
For most people, chocolate is synonymous with indulgence -- a rich treat to be savored. But for the millions of small-scale farmers producing the majority of the world's cocoa, it's synonymous with poverty.
According to new research from Fairtrade International, the average income for cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast – the world’s largest cocoa producer – hovers dangerously close to the level of extreme poverty. Volatile prices over the past year has battered farmers, with income from cocoa declining by as much as 36 percent.
But don’t despair – you can be part of the solution and help small-scale cocoa farmers get a better deal! Celebrate World Chocolate Day with three simple steps you can take to help cocoa farmers right now.
3 Simple Ways You Can Help
As you kick off your journey, here a few brands doing chocolate better, including not just chocolate bars, but cocoa powder, cocoa butter and more.
Still Craving Cocoa? Here are 5 Facts Every Chocolate Lover Should Know:
- Chocolate sales in the US in 2016 were estimated at $17.6 billion.
- Americans consume more than 9 pounds of chocolate per year.
- 70 percent of the world’s cocoa comes from four countries – the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon.
- The average age of a farmer in Ghana – the second largest cocoa producer – is 52 and few young people see cocoa farming as an attractive vocation.
- An estimated 2.1 million children are engaged in hazardous work producing cocoa in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.