Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate

First cocoa co-operatives receive UTZ certification (15/9/2009)

Two of the pilot cooperatives supported by us, Co-operative Agricole de Fiédifoué and Coopaga - have been the first to receive UTZ CERTIFIED cocoa certificates on September 2nd. It is a great achievement and a promising start towards ensuring good agricultural, environmental and social practices in cocoa production.

During an intensive eight month programme we have focused a great deal of attention to the farmers and trained 1,590 farmers in responsible and sustainable agriculture practices. The farmers have learned techniques such as planting new variety cocoa trees, effective husbandry practices and farm maintenance, application of fertilizers and the best post-harvest treatment of the cocoa bean.

First cocoa co-operatives receive UTZ certification

Yao Konan, General Secretary of the Fiédifoué Co-op, told us, "Since we have been in the certification process we can see a real change when we visit the cocoa farms. Trees are healthier and farms cleaner; the farmers not certified can see the benefits of better farming practices and increased productivity, and they too now want to be enrolled."

The certifications were completed following independent audits and are awarded on an annual basis. The first UTZ CERTIFIED sustainable cocoa beans will be available by the end of 2009. We feel this is an exciting first step towards assuring certified sustainable cocoa and we look forward to scaling up quantities to meet the growing demand from customers.

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