Rikolto (formerly VECO/Vredeseilanden) is an international NGO with more than 40 years of experience in partnering farmer organisations and food chain actors across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Rikolto runs programmes in 14 countries worldwide through eight regional offices.
In its global cocoa programme, Rikolto tests and harvests new solutions to make the cocoa sector more sustainable and resilient.
- Cocoa provides a livelihood for an estimated 40-50 million people worldwide. The bulk of the product still originates from family-run farms. However, these smallholder farmers have limited access to resources and are often cut out of the trade, ending up in poverty and leaving their huge potential untapped. To ensure change on a global scale towards more sustainability in the cocoa sector, the following challenges need to be tackled:
- Smallholders, particularly women and young people, lack market certainty, incentives, and financial and labour capacity.
- Cocoa price fluctuations heavily impact on smallholder farmers’ livelihoods.
- Climate change threatens the global supply of cocoa.
- An ageing farmer population, which curbs investments in innovation.
- Young people are increasingly abandoning rural areas.
- Farmers’ organisations often lack the capability to become trustworthy business partners that can represent their members effectively.