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Who gets paid for your Chocolate?

Who gets paid for your Chocolate?

Who gets paid for Chocolate?

Most cocoa farmers earn about 1/3 of a living wage. Is fair trade enough?

We're 100% in support of paying farmers a premium, increasing yields, and creating market access. And...

Most of the chocolate pie still goes to the global north. [1]  A tiny increase to the global south's tiny slice doesn't fill the gap to a living wage for cacao farmers. There's far more work to do.

That's why we support opportunities for cacao-growing communities and countries to make and sell cacao products, wholesale and retail or restaurant, in order to multiply current income and create healthy local economies.

How your purchases make a difference:

Fair Trade, ~10% 

The farmer cooperative is paid a premium above the commodity price for its cocoa. As of writing, Fairtrade International and Fair Trade USA command a 10% premium. The commodity price is FoB ‘Free-on-Board’ – the price paid for the cocoa when delivered to a port, ready for export. Individual farmers may receive as little as 20% of this price.

Direct Trade, 10-300%+

The farmer or farmer cooperative is selling directly to the customer processing their cacao. “Direct trade companies pay higher prices to producers based on quality, often with price guarantees unrelated to the fluctuating commodity market.”[2] In addition to the higher price, pricing transparency is often higher, resulting in farmers receiving a higher proportion of the total sales price.

Origin / FAIRMADE, 250-500%+

“A product made start to finish at the origin of the cocoa with locally sourced ingredients, materials, and labor. The manufacturing of the product acts as a catalyst for development by supporting skilled manufacturing jobs and significantly increasing the value captured in the country of origin compared to the export of cocoa as a raw material.”[3] In this model, farmers typically receive direct trade prices and additional higher paying job opportunities are created in the community and country. These jobs tend to particularly benefit women.


    Make a multiplying impact for farming communities and countries by shopping makers on the Origin Made Marketplace, visit these trailblazing shops, tastings, and events, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter (bottom right) to learn more about how to change this equation. 


    *Each context, business, and nation is different. There may be exceptions. These are generalities we’ve seen across contexts. 


    [1] Inspired by a similar chart elaborating on local value-addition shared by Gillian Goddard of Alliance of Rural Communities in Trinidad and Tobago and Cross Atlantic Chocolate Collective.

    [2] Stumptown Coffee Roasters. “Our Story.” accessed 5 Feb 2024.

    [3] Fine Chocolate Industry Association. “Cacao.” Accessed 5 Feb 2024.

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