Ivory Coast, Ghana withdraw membership of U.S. cocoa trade body - document

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Ivory Coast and Ghana have withdrawn their membership of a U.S. cocoa industry association, accusing the body of helping U.S. chocolate companies avoid paying a cocoa premium aimed at tackling farmer poverty.

The Cocoa Merchants association of America (CMAA) is "condoning and conniving with American companies against poor West African cocoa farmers" by avoiding the premium, a document seen by Reuters says. Spokespeople for the Ivorian and Ghanian cocoa regulators verified the document's authenticity.

The world's top cocoa producers are meanwhile reviewing their membership of the Federation of Cocoa Commerce (FCC), a UK-based international organisation that aims to promote, protect and regulate the cocoa trade.

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