Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate

Vietnam: sustainable cocoa phase II (2/4/2009)

Cargill started its cocoa business in Vietnam in 2004 to establish a quality supply of fermented cocoa beans for its processing plants in Europe. The first stage was a joint effort between the Dutch government, Cargill and Mars. The Dutch government provided financial support whilst Cargill set up the supply chain infrastructure (including 2 buying stations) and Mars contributed technical consultancy.

The project ended in 2006 with impressive results giving the Vietnamese cocoa sector the momentum and impetus to develop rapidly and in the right direction:

  • "Good Agricultural Practice" training was provided to 4 times the number of farmers initially projected
  • National cocoa standards, farming and post harvest protocols were initiated
  • A marketing chain and fertilizer-lending scheme were established

Currently, Vietnam has approved 8 genetic cocoa varieties for mass production, a national standard for export and trade and 14,000 ha of cocoa planted with around 20,000 farmers involved. Vietnam has also produced and exported some 500 mt of high quality fermented beans over the last two years. With a 70% market share Cargill is the largest cocoa bean exporter in this country.

New initiative

Recently Cargill entered a new initiative with the Vietnamese and Dutch governments, Mars and the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) to develop the sector further to a targeted 80,000ha and 108,000 mt by 2020 but with the promise that the development will be socially, ecologically and economically sustainable. This means that it will be set up in such a way that it provides farmers with a decent, sustainable income and that it actively stimulates biodiversity and eliminates deforestation.

Cargill's role will be to participate in the farmer's training, to create an effective and transparent pricing system for farmers and to market Vietnamese cocoa to the global cocoa and chocolate industry.

Cargill farmer training

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