New Fairtrade report highlights how cocoa sector can help farmers progress toward living incomes

Supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations, the report, What Makes Co-operatives Work?, outlines recommendations for Fairtrade and the cocoa sector at large, developed after researchers conducted an in-depth study into the functions of s and heard feedback from two case study cocoa cooperatives in Ghana.

The recommendations include proposals for how better to identify obstacles to improving farmers’ experiences within co-operatives, and how to support co-operatives in their journey to scale impact for members and beyond, to sharecroppers and farm owners’ families.

This report comes at a particularly important time for the Fairtrade system — Brian Doe, Program Development Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation

This understanding is a critical addition to how the sector can work through farmer-led structures to ensure successful living income programming and realise progress towards improved incomes, rights and resilience for cocoa farmers, Fairtrade believed.

The report, commissioned by the Fairtrade Foundation, was written by Switzerland-based researcher Dafni Skalidou, supported by researcher Gladys Nketiah and Fairtrade Africa’s cocoa team, both in Ghana.

The author was asked to provide an analysis of the co-operative sector in Ghana and gather farmer feedback on their experiences with co-operatives, in order to understand how co-operatives work and how they create and distribute benefits.

The research was carried out through focus group discussions with cocoa farmers in Fairtrade’s West Africa Producer Network, as well as interviews with a range of relevant stakeholders in the sector, including Fairtrade cocoa co-operatives.

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