Why work for fairafric?
In Ghana, the daily minimum wage is 8 Cedis. This translates into a monthly salary of approx. 35 US$. Through our local partner, Niche Cocoa Industries, our production staff receives a starting salary of around 1,000 Cedis per month (approx. 225 US$). With more skills and experience this rises continuously. The wages paid are not only several times the local minimum wage but are also among the highest paid in the local production companies. This results in a highly motivated, qualified and loyal work force.
Health & Safety
How much do the farmers earn?
Most farmers in West Africa live on a subsistence basis. That means, that they grow most of their food themselves and sell some of their produce to earn the money for their children's education, cooking oil, salt, sugar and other necessities. The lucky few manage to save some money for medical treatments or to build or buy a house.
In Ghana the Cocoa Authority called COCOBOD names a "farm-gate price" for cocoa on a regular basis. This price is to be paid to farmers for a bag of high quality cocoa beans, no more, no less. This price is currently 420 Cedis (US$ 100) per 64.5 KG bag. Now if we want to buy cocoa from a farmer we are only allowed to pay this price. Our cooperative Yayra Glover has negotiated an exemption for their 1400 farmers from this fixed price and we are allowed to pay them a premium, some of which is distributed directly in cash for the higher quality of their beans and some is used for the cooperatives work, especially the organic certifications.
So farmers do not earn hourly or monthly wages. What fairafric does is to work closely with our partner cooperative Yayra Glover which trains their members in proper farm management. More than half of Ghanaian cocoa farmers earn (often much) less than 100 US$ for their whole families per month. Yayra Glover helps farmers to substantially increase their output, which allows them to really live of their cocoa farm rather than using the money from cocoa to only buy necessities.
With cocoa prices falling over the last couple of months we are working with Yayra Glover to help farmers secure additional sources of income. Growing Plantain is already providing farmers with extra revenue while inter-planting increases the cocoa yield and the biodiversity. We are currently evaluating a plan to plant coconut palm trees on some farms and extend the organic certification to coconuts.
A lot of people ask us if our farmers make the chocolate themselves. This is not the case as all the workers in the factory have gone through years of training in High School and College with some bringing university degrees. For the current generation of farmers working in such a demanding workplace is unpractical. But we are hearing of ever more children of farmers that complete third level education and we would be delighted if we can win one of our farmers children for the chocolate making business.