(ZEROHEDGE) – The Financial Times reviewed a letter, written by Ivory Coast and Ghana, think of both as cocoa's OPEC, control about two-thirds of the world's cocoa trade, outlined how both countries were angered by the blatant attempt of top chocolate companies and traders including Mars, Hershey, and Olam in their attempts to circumvent a premium on cocoa meant to help combat poverty among African farmers.
The letter said chocolate producers attempted to avoid a $400-per-ton "living income differential" (LID), which is a tax added to the price of cocoa bought from Ghana and the Ivory Coast. In addition to the major industry players, the letter calls out four other smaller cocoa traders.
In a separate letter, Ivorian Conseil de Café Cacao and the Ghana Cocoa Board blasted Hershey for their attempt to bypass the LID, calling their alleged strategies a "breach of faith." Authorities halted Hershey from operating its chocolate sustainability programs in both countries.
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