What do you know about the farmers who produce the cacao for your chocolate?
The first question in our blog series of ‘questions for chocolatemakers’ was by Paul’s mother, a fan of milkchocolate interested in the ethical side of chocolate and cacao. Do you also have a question for the chocolate makers? Contact us!
This blog is also available in dutch.
We have send this question to the makers of the chocolates we sell. And received a lot of answers.
The answer of Marou from Vietnam
“We’d be very happy to share the following information: Marou works regularly with around 15 farmers in 6 different provinces in Vietnam. Individual circumstances vary, but generally speaking the farmers we work with generate a good steady income from their cacao.
The monthly income from cacao of our farmers is probably around 1000 USD / month, with some making more than twice that amount; this is not a net income as they have to pay for their costs but in a country where the minimum wage is around 150 USD / month it is a very comfortable income. With the special premium we pay our farmers (on average 20% over market price) we make sure that our farmers give us the best quality possible and we try to reward them in other ways too
We visit our farmers’ houses regularly and know them well. The one thing we worry about is that their average age is quite high (most are in their 50 and 60s) and that their children, most of them having graduated from university and with jobs in the big cities, show limited interest in farming. We see it as a real challenge in the next 10-15 years to make cacao farming not just attractive enough for our current farmers to continue working, but for their children to want to take over the family farm.
An interesting cover story about one of our farmers was featured on BBC World Service recently:
I’ve sent you a link to download photos of some of our farmers.*