Earning a living income is a human right, including for farmers. It is also a key aspect of HALBA’s commitment to sustainability (see Living Income and Wage Policy).
Every human being has the right to a living income that supports a dignified existence. A living income covers the cost of food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, children’s school education and other basic expenses. While Fairtrade has given many farmers a reliable income, a large part of them still struggle to escape poverty. The reasons are manifold and include small allotments, a lack of diversification and low productivity of the plots, inadequate know-how and the unavailability of appropriate technology as well as high production costs, price fluctuations and generally low market prices for the products which the farmers grow and sell.
To combat poverty, Fairtrade International, the umbrella organisation of Fairtrade Max Havelaar, has collaborated with other players from the international trade sector and calculated country-specific reference prices for various industries. These data determine, for example, how much a tonne of cocoa needs to cost to generate a living income for a farming family.
With the «Sankofa» sustainability project, HALBA has supported environmental protection and income diversification for Ghanaian cocoa farmers since 2019. In addition, since October 2020 project farmers have also been receiving a premium in addition to the cocoa sale price as part of this project. This means that they receive the reference price calculated by Fairtrade in order to ensure a living income.