Empowering women in Cocoa Life communities
Without cocoa, there’s no chocolate. And without the next generation of cocoa farmers, there’s no cocoa. Women are central to the well-being and sustainability of cocoa-growing communities and the supply chain. Supporting gender equality and empowerment not only helps women to better support their families and contribute to the development of their communities, but ultimately secures the future supply of cocoa by improving its productivity and quality.
This is why, from the very beginning, women’s empowerment has been a key priority of Cocoa Life, our sustainability program which aims to create empowered cocoa farmers in thriving communities across our supply chain.
Through Cocoa Life, we’ve developed specific programs for women in cocoa communities across five focus areas: farming, community, youth, livelihoods and environment. Through equal opportunity and access to training, we give men and women the chance to improve their families’ livelihoods though increased household income. And including women in community-level decision-making bodies improves their ability to lead change.
Take Janet Opare-Addo, she’s the living example of the success of our women’s empowerment programs. A mother of six living in the community of Asukyerema, she leads community mobilization for many Cocoa Life activities. She serves as a liaison and support for women who take part in training programs to ensure that correct methods are applied on farms. Through her work, Janet supports 570 men and women in community projects!
“Women’s empowerment is as much about farming as it is about community and business development. Women play a key role in all critical steps of cocoa farming from early plant care to drying. It is critical that we ensure equal access to farmer training and farm inputs. We make sure place and time of training works for them and we involve female trainers to increase adoption of good practices,” explains Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, lead for Cocoa Life in Ghana.
Meet Jane and other women who are changing the face of cocoa.