Kone Tourougnandjeme says that Cocoa Life has helped her to increase the profit margin on her cocoa. © Care/Priyanka Gouthaman
Humanitarian aid charity Care International has published an assessment of Mondelēz International’s efforts to improve the empowerment of women in cocoa-growing communities in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
Care’s report said that Mondelēz’s Cocoa Life programme has helped to train women growers in good agricultural and financial practice, which in turn has allowed them to grow their household income. The initiative has also boosted female participation in cooperative societies, Care found, and ‘is increasing women’s agency [their skills and knowledge, self-assurance and aspirations] by providing greater access to and control over productive and financial resources’, the report concluded.
According to Dr Stephanie Barrientos, “research has found that [the women reached by Cocoa Life] are engaged in activities that enhance cocoa yields and quality including early plant care and post-harvest fermentation and drying.
“However, they face specific challenges and their role in family farm labour is unrecognised. Promoting a cultural shift to ensure gender equality in the cocoa chocolate value chain is central to guaranteeing future resilience of supply and ensuring future generations find the occupation attractive.”
Care International has set out a series of objectives for Mondelēz to secure the continued success of its Cocoa Life programme.
They include raising political awareness of the issue of access to land for women in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, developing a strategy and allocating resources to eliminating violence against women and supporting women with children through government and NGO services, as well as launching a range of measures to further understand a range of influences on women cocoa farmers’ livelihoods.
The report summarised: “Mondelēz International’s investment in mainstreaming women’s leadership in Cocoa Life is having a positive effect on women’s agency. The Cocoa Life programme has enabled women to have greater access to and control over productive and financial resources, strengthened their ability to become community leaders and established women as role models in the community, resulting in positive returns to the women and their communities. Cocoa Life has provided structures and processes that enhance the voice and participation of women, providing them with a platform to exercise their agency.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019