Cocoa Impact Report – 2020

16 September 2021
Cocoa farmer in vibrant orange outfit standing in front of cocoa tree lush with green pods.

Our Geographic Reach

In 2020, over 80% of the world’s Fairtrade cocoa beans came from Côte d’Ivoire setting it as the largest producers of Fairtrade cocoa. Over 70% of cocoa sold on Fairtrade terms from Latin America and the Caribbean is Fairtrade organic.

Top producing countries now include:

Cote d'Ivoire map silhouette

Côte d'Ivoire

Ghana map silhouette


Peru map silhouette


80% of the world’s Fairtrade cocoa beans came from Côte d'Ivoire
cocoa beans

Our Collective Impact

Market price volatility and income disparity have historically been a significant challenge for cocoa farmers and has been intensified by COVID-19. The Fairtrade Minimum Price provides a safety net to protect producers from the volatility of global commodity markets. The Fairtrade Premium – the amount producer organizations are paid on top of the selling price – provides funds for farmers and workers to invest in projects of their choice in their businesses and communities. The more crop that producers can sell on Fairtrade terms, the greater the difference these benefits make. In addition to Fairtrade’s economic interventions, Fairtrade brought together commercial partners as well as government agencies to form the Fairtrade Relief Fund and Fairtrade Resilience Fund. By November 2020, the fund had raised more than $18M.

Fairtrade Cocoa Market Landscape in the US

In 2020, the U.S. chocolate market expanded by 1.8%, reaching $18.92 billion, according to Statista and Fairtrade cocoa saw a growth of 27% in volume over the previous year. This was driven by increased commercial partnerships, retail opportunities, and demand for cocoa ingredients (i.e., the cocoa powder used in baking products).

Market research has shown that consumers are looking for cocoa that is grown sustainably and that promotes social impact:

  • 61% of shoppers pay attention to one or more production attribute: claims and certifications, Ingredient simplicity, origin/authenticity, & social responsibility.
  • 52% of shoppers like buying from brands who give back to their community or charities.
  • Chocolate as a category will grow another $1.1 billion by 2025.
31% growth in licensee revenue made cocoa the fastest growing Fairtrade product category in 2020

Snapshot: Fairtrade Sales Volume & Premium

In 2020, cocoa was the fastest-growing Fairtrade product category with revenue jumping by an impressive 31% and almost $3 million in Fairtrade Premium was paid to certified cocoa producers.

Fairtrade cocoa US sales volume

Fairtrade Premiums generated by US cocoa sales


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are global goals designed by the United Nations General Assembly to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.”


Fairtrade Cocoa Premium use by Sustainable Development Goal

Fairtrade Premium investments made by cocoa producers contribute to several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While most activities can apply to more than one SDG, here we have mapped each category of spending to a unique SDG for simplicity.

  • 66% of the Fairtrade Premium investments by cocoa producers contributed to SDG2 (zero hunger). Primarily, these included activities that contributed to sustainable agriculture and the strengthening of producer organizations through the provision of agricultural tools and inputs, loans for farm improvement and implementing best practices. Investments like these also help reduce overall household expenditure for farming families.
  • SDG1 (no poverty) is central to Fairtrade’s mission to connect disadvantaged producers and consumers, promote fairer trading conditions and empower producers to combat poverty, strengthen their financial position and take more control over their lives. For example, Program West Africa Cocoa Program (WACP) in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, aims to strengthen farmer coops to better serve their members – and make progress toward living incomes. Implemented by Fairtrade Africa, the WACP gathered more than 34,000 training attendances in 2019. Training topics included financial tracking and bookkeeping, women’s leadership, income diversification, crop productivity, combatting child labor, and other topical issues.
$3M in Fairtrade Premium was paid to certified cocoa producers in 2020

Producer Story: Women Taking the Lead

Established in 2010 by 283 founding members, CAYAT is a Fairtrade certified cocoa cooperative based in the towns of Adzopé and Yakassé-Attobrou in the Southeast of Côte d’Ivoire. CAYAT expanded quickly to over 3,000 members in 2020, with the objective to unite cocoa farmers to be stronger together, tackle the deep socio-economic challenges in the region, and farm sustainably while boosting farmer incomes.

Research estimates suggest that a typical cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire earns under $1 per day; for women that figure is even lower at $0.30 a day. Without the capital to invest in their farms, access to training to improve production, and a lack of other employment opportunities, cocoa farmers quickly find themselves with low yields and low incomes due to this lack of investment, creating a vicious cycle.

Woman cocoa farmer in Cote d'Ivoire reaches for green pod.
Rosine Bekoin, member of CAYAT Cooperative. Photo by: Chris Terry

Rosine Bekoin, a member of CAYAT, explains that the challenges in the cocoa farming industry include the lack of influence women have in the decision-making process. A mother of five, Rosine operates and owns a 2.5-hectare cocoa farm. She represents 25% of women-landowners in Côte d’Ivoire.

Fairtrade is working beyond the Standards to increase women’s role in Fairtrade producer organizations and to ensure they receive equal benefits. Producer networks are rolling out programs, enabling women to learn business, negotiation and finance skills, and are challenging men to tackle social norms.  The Women’s School of Leadership (WSOL) was launched in May 2017 with the mission to empower women through new skills and tools to advance their economic situation.  Since then, it has been a catalyst for change. As a graduate from WSOL, Rosine believes firmly in the power of women to play a key role in bringing communities out of poverty.

“I’ve seen that Fairtrade has helped us a lot in cocoa farming,” she said.

“The Fairtrade Premium has enabled us to do many things, especially women. It has enabled us to advance our children, and we use the Fairtrade Premium to build for the future.” – Rosine Bekoin, CAYAt coop member

The Fairtrade Premium projects directly benefit women by giving them a greater say in decision-making and governance structures in certified producer organizations and improving economic opportunities for women through livelihood diversification support.

Boy drying cocoa
Cocoa farmers harvesting cocoa pods

Navigating the Global Pandemic

Our activities in 2020 to date have been guided by our mission to achieve a more equitable world where farmers and workers can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood through fair trade, and we continually provide updates on our pandemic-related efforts here.


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