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Approximately 7.3 million metric tons of chocolate are consumed each year. In the UK, that equates to around 8 million people eating chocolate every day, and in the U.S, 50% of the population say they cannot live without a daily dose. 

These staggering figures are even more astonishing when you consider that 40% of the world's global cocoa supply comes from one country: Ivory Coast. In fact, up to 50 million people depend on the humble cocoa bean across the globe, and 70% of all cocoa produced originates from the 2 million farms scattered around the West African Region.

Most of these cocoa farms are managed by families and are relatively small in size, clocking in at 7 to 10 acres. The average West African cocoa grower has no access to irrigation or modern farming techniques, lives on around 75p per day (far below the World Bank’s extreme poverty line of £1.40) and many are responsible for a household of up to eight family members.

Our Portfolio

As a result of this social and market environment, a lot of our lending activity takes place in this region, and contributes to cocoa taking the second spot for commodities supported within our lending portfolio. In 2022, 21.8% of our lending was distributed for cocoa producers.


CAYAT is a cocoa, coffee and cashew nut producing co-operative, based around the towns of Adzopé and Yakassé-Attobrou in the South East of Ivory Coast. CAYAT was established in 2010, with 283 members. Its aim was to unite cocoa farmers and to tackle the deep socio-economic challenges in the region, whilst farming sustainably and boosting farmer incomes. They became Fairtrade certified in 2012, and have grown to over 3,000 members located across 38 villages in Ivory Coast; 400 of these members are women. Shared Interest first provided finance to the co-operative in 2016, enabling them to increase production and meet the growing demand for cocoa.

Visit the Producer's Website


Ecookim was established in 2004 and became a Shared Interest customer in 2014. They are an important player in Ivory Coast’s cocoa value chain. Membership has now grown to reach 23 farmer co-operatives, with 22,570 individual producers covering two different provinces. Ecookim’s main activity consists of buying and processing raw cocoa from co-operatives, and exporting cocoa beans. They are currently Shared Interest’s largest customer in West Africa, and one of the best-performing Fairtrade certified groups in the region. Their vision is to ensure that cocoa farmers receive a greater share of the cocoa supply chain by selling directly in the international cocoa market. 

Visit the Producer's Website
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