Forum for African Investigative Reporters

The Fairtrade chocolate rip-off

Expensive 'fair' chocolate does not benefit cocoa farmers

In a six-month transnational project led by the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR), journalists hailing from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and the Netherlands investigated the alleged benefits received by cocoa farmers in West Africa via the FAIRTRADE label.

Their conclusions are shocking: whilst the chocolate consumer in the West pays a significant mark-up for 'honest' chocolate, these benefits amount to little or no improvement in the lives of cocoa farmers. In some case, because of FAIRTRADE cooperatives' increasing dominance, farmers were even worse off than before. The report was nominated for the prestigious 'De Tegel' prize in the Netherlands.

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