This year, we have shared our turnover with 587 family farmers in Togo. We were able to increase the amount paid by a whopping 130 percent. We transferred the money to most of the families directly via their mobile phones – an advantage for both sides.
In the spring of 2022, we transferred 48,245 euro to gebana Togo. The money went to 587 family farmers and is part of our gebana model. We share turnover earned from chocolate sales in our online shop with producers.
The amount of this share has increased by around 130 percent compared to last year. In addition to the sales of our gebana chocolate made with cocoa from Togo, we also included the sales from all other chocolates in our product range in the amount. We also chose to round the amount up using gebana AG's reserves.
In the long term, we are looking to convince our major cocoa customers to pay more for our cocoa. This is how we want to enable family farmers to earn a living income in the future. You can read more about this here.
Family farmers – with 89 more benefiting than last year– receive the money in addition to the organic and fair trade price with no conditions whatsoever. We asked some of them what they would do with their share and what they thought about receiving a share of our sales.
"I own 4 hectares of land. Last year I had to take out a loan for my business. I have now used two thirds of the 164,000 CFA sum [approximately 250 euro] to pay off this loan. gebana should try to create an even larger market for organic cocoa. And we will try to improve the quality of our cocoa with each new delivery."
"I grow cocoa on around 7.75 hectares. I received approximately 651,000 CFA [approximately 992 euros] from gebana. I would like to expand my fields. It will help enable me to prepare the land, purchase the necessary materials and plant banana trees. I am struggling financially at the moment and this amount brings some relief. Such initiatives encourage people to switch to organic production. This is because production is very demanding."
"I am the chairman of our cooperative's monitoring commission. I received 73,000 CFA [approximately 111 euro]. I will use the money from gebana to go on a trip and buy gravel in order to build a new sanitary facility in my house. Thanks to gebana's distribution campaign, more people have become aware of our cooperative and want to talk to us."
In order to distribute the money, 9 agricultural technicians from gebana Togo personally travelled to the villages. In addition to this payment, their position also involves providing family farmers with advice and regular training. Chiaratou Océni, who is responsible for project work in the cocoa division, spent six weeks organising the meetings with the family farmers. In total, the agricultural technicians held 15 meetings with family farmers and cooperatives. To make things as manageable as possible, they gathered two to three village communities at a time in a central location.
The amount that the family farmers receive depends on the amount of cocoa beans they have delivered to us in the past year. On average, the families received an amount of 82 euro. This corresponds to approximately one and a half times the Togolese monthly minimum wage of 53 euro. All producers also received a bonus of 5,000 CFA, or 7.60 euro, if they had the money paid out via mobile phone.
Mobile phone transfers have the advantage of the agricultural technicians not having to carry a large amount of cash with them. Furthermore, this system guarantees that the money will reach the individual farmers personally. "This year, we involved two mobile phone providers for the distribution so that they can guarantee that the transfers will work and that enough cash will be available at the locations receiving it," explains Chiaratou Océni. The efforts have paid off: this year we were able to transfer 88 percent of the payments via mobile payment. In the previous year, it was a mere 23 percent. You can read more about this topic in our blog post Buying unprocessed agricultural products without cash.
We are pleased that we have been able to increase the amount paid out in Togo this year. Our goal of a living wage for cocoa producers is, however, still not within reach. We'll keep striving toward our goal and keep you updated!
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Smallholders and local producers harvest and refine products of extraordinary quality worldwide. But for many of these producers there is no adequate or stable market. You can buy directly from these producers via the Access to Market Platform and help them to participate in the market. The principle behind this is crowd ordering – a new trade model whereby a number of consumers order a product together so as to achieve a minimum order quantity. We at gebana support the producers with our know-how, and organise the logistics.
Enable someone to make their first export with your order. Please note: Unexpected events often lead to delays, and you may find that the quality is not yet perfect. For this reason, your feedback is absolutely essential. The export experience and your feedback are important steps for the producers towards accessing the market. As a customer, you are witness to the whole process, playing your part in pioneering work.
You can order from these producers simply and directly. You receive your product as soon as the minimum order quantity has been reached and the products are ready. The risk for you is minimal, since the producers already have a product that is ready for market. This sales channel is beneficial to both the producers and the consumers, since it cuts out the middle man.
Be part of the development of supply chains and support innovation! Some of the ways you can do this include testing new products, giving feedback, or financially supporting the producers in their next steps. In doing so, you will be able to see for yourself how the products and supply chains develop.
This is where you can see all the completed projects on the Access to Market Platform at a glance. You can find out where products are now available from or whether the producers are still seeking a trade partner.