Variations in world market prices for coffee and cocoa

In 2002 the cocoa price was fine; we acquired land and started to build houses. But in 2003 I could not continue the building work.
The Vice-President of Akwaya Section, MACEFCOOP

For more information about price volatility see the ICCO website for Daily Cocoa Bean Prices and Table of ICCO Monthly and Annual Averages of Daily Prices of Cocoa Beans.

There is transparency at MACEFCOOP because we can discuss problems and fix prices ourselves, the storekeeper also inform us about prices
a member of Mamfé Akwaya

In West Africa...Average annual cocoa revenues ranged from US$30 to US$110 per household member.
Child Labor Surveys in the Cocoa Sector of West Africa, July 2002

Robusta prices
Annual averages for the monthly ICO Indicator Prices for Robusta Coffee in US cents per lb, 1986-2005, compiled using ICO data

Relative stability through Fairtrade

The Fairtrade system guarantees that producer groups receive a minimum price of $US 1,600.00/tonne for non-organic cocoa and $US 1,800.00/tonne for organic cocoa. Producer groups also receive a premium of US$150.00/tonne. The following graph shows how variable the world market price can be. The Fairtrade price ensures that farmers are paid a reasonable price for their produce.

Click to see more information regarding Fairtrade and its impact on the pricing structure...

cocoa prices since 1960
Annual averages for the daily prices of cocoa beans, 1960-2003, compiled using ICCO data

Before, we didn’t have information on prices. Now we get such information and we can discuss and fix our local prices
Mr Tabe Daniel, Mamfé Akwaya

We are kept informed on changes of prices. Now that we get better prices, we can sell to MACEFCOOP
Samuel Ako, Mamfé Akwaya

Support schemes are urgently needed to protect coffee farmers of the developing countries in global markets from wide price fluctuations, such as the very low coffee prices of recent years. The development of mechanisms to stabilise export earnings by providing better access to the IMF's Compensatory Financing Facility or by reviving the European Union's scheme to stabilise export earnings (STABEX) is a high priority. It is an area in which the International Coffee organisation (ICO) can play a leadership role with the international financial organisations, banks and coffee traders. Stabilising export earnings has a number of advantages over buffer stocks and other schemes that directly interfere with commodity supply and prices. Since such schemes are not aimed at keeping prices artificially high, there is less risk of unnecessarily prolonging periods of oversupply. They can, however, help cushion some of the effects of the worst slumps.

Source: Nestlé Coffee Report: Faces of Coffee, March 2004