The chart below shows the split of lending for different types of products as a percentage of overall disbursements made.
Coffee continues to represent the largest of our value chain exposures. This simply reflects the size of the fair trade and organic coffee market and its need for trade finance. It also mirrors the impact of the financing sphere as a whole and we experienced a very small reduction in disbursements from 49.4% (2022) to 48.3%. This is a result of the closure of some unutilised and high-risk accounts, along with some additional accounts borrowing at lower levels than we anticipated as part of our annual business planning.
Last year saw an excess level of coffee production when compared to the level of demand. This oversupply led to a substantial drop in prices during the period between the harvest and sale. Many customers were forced to postpone their exports and/or sell their produce as non-Fairtrade, commanding a lower price and without the additional Fairtrade Premium. Some incurred losses. Predictably, this financial pressure had an adverse impact on customers, many of whom were already experiencing heightened expenses for agricultural inputs and ongoing logistical disruptions. We have seen buyers delay orders and this could lead to the potential loss in sales for Fairtrade farmers, but it is believed that this will settle and the higher price will gain market acceptance.
The amount disbursed in cocoa has increased from 21.8% to 29.6%, largely due to the increase in the selling price of cocoa in West Africa following the introduction of the living income differential (LID), see page 46. In line with the global market, some disbursements are made to producers in East Africa (23%) and South America (18%), but the majority are made in West Africa, specifically Ivory Coast.
Handcrafts and Textiles
Handcraft and textile products continue to have an important place in our lending, accounting for 8.4% of our lending. This has reduced from 12.5% in 2022 due to a reduction in global demand for handcrafts including textiles, due to the worldwide recession. We however maintain our focus on small and disadvantaged producer groups, and believe that we are the only social lender to provide finance to this sector. Additionally, it is worth noting that disbursements for handcrafts are made mostly through buyer lending.
You can read the full Social Accounts document here.Back to menu