Monday, November 12, 2007
THE “ACCRA AGENDA”: The exploitation of cocoa farmers continues unabated…
The “Accra Agenda” was developed through a Round Table Meeting organized by the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) which was held at the International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana from 3-6 October 2007 with the official objective of achieving a “sustainable world cocoa economy.”
However, beyond the empty & deceitful rhetoric preached during this useless and expensive “talkshop,” the “Accra Agenda” has (not surprisingly) purposely and brilliantly failed to identify, address and resolve the root economic cause leading to low, constantly declining and * unremunerative cocoa prices on the world market - (i.e. *prices which do not reflect or take into account real production cost of cocoa, taking into account production cost, inflation, currency fluctuations, global Terms of Trade, etc.) – namely, long, medium and short-term market imbalance between supply and demand leading to a structural over supply of cocoa on the world market, which in turn lead to low and constantly declining real prices of cocoa on the world market over the long-run.
World cocoa stocks 2005-2006:
1.5 million metric tons = 50% of annual demand = 6 months stock !
In fact, the cocoa & the chocolate industry in the US and in Europe has massively and uninterruptedly been exploiting millions of small-scale cocoa farmers in West Africa over the last century through a subtle and deceitful Machiavellian manipulation of the demand & supply market mechanism, with the hidden complicity and the active support of the ICCO.
Although the official mission of the ICCO is to “maintain an equilibrium between supply and demand” to secure remunerative prices for cocoa farmers, it has brilliantly and purposely failed to achieve its stated mission over the last half a century since its creation. On the contrary, the ICCO has since its creation deliberately recommended, implemented and pursued policies which have resulted in creating an excess supply of cocoa on the world market ( 2005-2006 world stocks: 1.5 million metric tons = 50% of annual demand = 6 months of stocks ) to enable the cocoa and chocolate industry in cocoa consuming countries to purchase cocoa at rock-bottom prices, thereby further impoverishing cocoa producing countries in West Africa and millions of small-scale cocoa farmers who are thrown deeper into poverty while cocoa and chocolate manufacturers in the the USA and the EU generate billions of dollars every year…!
Of course the governments of cocoa producing countries are not without blame in the exploitation and impoverishment of their own cocoa farmers. Over the last 50 years since so-called independence, they have been incapable to develop and implement intelligent and coherent economic development policies to process their own cocoa, which would have allowed them to significantly add-value to the cocoa, to create desperately-needed employment and to break free from the dictate of the world market. Instead, they were happy to take over the exploitative role of their colonial masters and perpetuated with more skills the exploitation of their own farmers. The colonial masters were smart enough to feed the cow that gave them the milk…The new “black colonial masters” milked their own farmers dry and systematically starved and killed the cows that gave them milk ...!
Furthermore, over the last century, cocoa producing countries have been incapable of developing and implementing coherent and intelligent economic policies and of putting in place regulatory market mechanisms to secure remunerative prices to their cocoa farmers. Add the abundant ingredients of corruption, massive exploitation, economic incompetence, intellectual mediocrity and moral bankruptcy of the successive governments in cocoa producing nations in West Africa since so-called “independence” and you have the result today: the economic bankruptcy of countries in West Africa heavily dependent on producing and exporting non-processed cocoa ( and other raw commodities such as coffee, cocoa, etc) and the massive impoverishment of millions of cocoa, coffee, cotton, etc. farmers across West Africa.
So on the one hand you have the cocoa and chocolate industry in the USA and in Western Europe massively and continuously exploiting millions of cocoa farmers in West Africa for over a century – with the hidden complicity and support of the ICCO ( contrary to its official mandate ) and on the other side of the equation you have a bunch of intellectually incompetent and mediocre so-called “leaders” in cocoa producing nations who have been incapable of developing and implementing intelligent and coherent economic development policies within the cocoa sector over the last 50 years since so-called independence to secure remunerative cocoa prices for millions of cocoa farmers across West Africa.
MASSIVE AND CONTINUED ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION OF COCOA FARMERS IN WEST AFRICA OVER THE LAST CENTURY BY THE COCOA & CHOCOLATE INDUSTRY IN THE US & THE EU, WITH THE HIDDEN COMPLICITY AND ACTIVE SUPPORT OF THE ICCO
ECONOMIC INCOMPETENCE, INTELLECTUAL MEDICOCRITY, WIDESPREAD CORRUPTION, MISMANAGEMENT OF THE COCOA SECTOR, UNINTERRUPTED AND CONTINUED EXPLOITATION OF COCOA FARMERS BY SUCCESIVE GOVERNEMENTS IN COCOA PRODUCING NATIONS IN WEST AFRICA OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS SINCE SO-CALLED INDEPENDENCE,
ECONOMIC BANKRUPTCY OF COCOA PRODUCING NATIONS IN WEST AFRICA AND WIDESPREAD IMPOVERISHMENT OF COCOA FARMERS ACROSS WEST AFRICA!
May God have mercy on all of you, exploiters & exploited…