Cocoa organizations in Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire now say sustainability programs carried out by chocolate makers and confectionery companies can work in harmony with the new per-tonne living income differential (LID) the countries established in July.

The Ghana Cocoa Board and Le Conseil du Café Cacao, representing Côte d’Ivoire, issued a joint statement Wednesday after engaging with industry players. Earlier this month, the cocoa organizations said they were reviewing the status of all sustainability and certification programs to put greater emphasis on the $400-per-tonne LID, which will go into effect for the 2020-2021 season.

The Ghana Cocoa Board and Le Conseil du Café Cacao noted the industry has “clearly indicated” it is working to fully implement the LID as part of the “mutual objective to raise farmer income.” 

“We therefore announce that the LID and the sustainability programmes would co-exist and complement each other,” the organizations said in the joint statement. “The implementation of sustainability and certification programmes shall therefore continue in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. We shall monitor and evaluate the complementary co-existence of the LID and sustainability programmes being implemented in our respective countries to decide on them, going forward.”

Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire also reaffirmed its commitment to eradicating child labor and deforestation in the cocoa supply chain, adding it will collaborate with “all stakeholders” to promote and sustain the cocoa industry.