Voice Network

Voice Network’s Antonie Fountain on the Cocoa Barometer report and sustainability


Missed an episode?

Find archived episodes here.

Candy Industry Senior Editor Liz Parker was recently able to talk to Antonie Fountain, managing director, Voice Network, a global network of NGOs and trade union, about sustainability and addressing issues such as deforestation, poverty, and child labor in the cocoa industry.

Voice Network annually releases the Cocoa Barometer report, which shows that there remains a wide range of problems facing families in cocoa communities, including child labor; gender inequality; (infant) malnutrition; lack of access to education; insufficient health care facilities and sanitation; and a variety of labor rights violations for smallholders, workers, and tenants. Environmental issues such as deforestation and climate change remain a growing concern.

Without a significant increase in earnings, cocoa farmers will be burdened with the responsibility for addressing this range of issues without the means or incentives to do so. As such, environmental and social harms are likely to continue in the world’s major cocoa producing countries Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Top-down national and international government strategies aimed at increasing cocoa production to address poverty tend to support the chocolate industry while failing to address these issues.

Click here to view this year's Cocoa Barometer report.

Listen to the podcast above or click here.