A New Ally in Cocoa Sustainability
Chocolate is a simple product that means so much to so many people around the world, but how that chocolate is made is incredibly complicated. Roughly 70 percent of the world’s cocoa grows in West Africa and is sourced from smallholder farmers, many of whom live below the poverty line.
As a result, the story of cocoa in West Africa is largely a story of poverty. The challenges of the sector are well known and publicized—a labor-intensive farming process, fluctuating global prices that affect incomes, aging farmers, limited opportunities for young adults, child labor, limited local infrastructure, unsecure land rights, and more.
Based on a new report published by Acumen, social enterprise can be a major new source of opportunities to tackle the challenges facing cocoa growing communities. The spirit of entrepreneurship, combined with a drive to solve complex social problems, make social enterprises a natural ally in the effort to tackle the systemic issues associated with the cocoa industry in West Africa.
Photo courtesy of Irene Scott / AusAID.