Around 70% of the world’s cocoa beans come from West Africa, yet the farmers who produce them live in extreme poverty, with most not earning a living income. Efforts to make the cocoa sector sustainable at a social, environmental and economic level will not be attainable unless farmers earn at least a living income. This has been recognised by all public and private actors in the sector at ICCO in 2018.

To progress solutions and guide investments, IDH is working with businesses using our Roadmap on Living Income to create more value for producers, protect the environment, and ensure traceability and data transparency – through a shared responsibility across the entire supply chain.

Recent developments in both consuming and producing countries are driving opportunities for more systemic change.  New EU supply chain legislation aims at improving human rights and environmental protection particularly deforestation. The first inter-Africa sustainable cocoa initiative was established between Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana (CIGHCI) with the aim of developing a Joint Economic Pact with industry including the development of a sustainable pricing mechanism.


Our Approach


There is no one-size-fits-all solution to living income. IDH aims to bring businesses, governments and other supply chain partners together to make living income a reality for cocoa farmers, by focusing on systemic change and redistributing value and risk. To achieve this, our approach for the 2021-2025 cocoa program works at three levels:

  • Sector Governance: facilitating an enabling environment by convening public-private commitments on sustainable cocoa production and supply.
  • Business Practices: accelerating change in procurement practices and investments in sourcing of sustainable cocoa from upstream supply chain partners by traders/grinders, chocolate brands and retailers.
  • Field Impact: validating proof of impact at field level by investing in insights and verification to inform decision making on scaling of effective interventions and business practices.

Our partners

Taking a closer Look at IDH partnership with the Living Income Community of Practice (LICOP) –

Aligning public and private action for impact on living income in Cote d’Ivoire (May 2023)

Contact Us

Are you a company committed to enabling living income in the cocoa sector? Contact us to learn more about how we can collaborate.