Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate

Sustainable, certified cocoa beans have arrived (15/12/2009)

Our first shipment of cocoa beans, produced from the first two UTZ CERT IFIED farmer co-operatives, has been delivered for processing at our cocoa and chocolate facilities. Our intensive eight month programme trained 1,590 co-operative farmers in responsible and sustainable agricultural practices. As a result, both the Agricole de Fiédifoué and the Coopaga co-operatives received certification last September, following independent audits.

To mark the occasion, a bag of certified beans was presented at the opening of CHOCA, the Amsterdam Chocolate Festival, on 7 November. The ceremony was performed by Bert Koenders, Minister of Development and Co-operation in the Netherlands and was the perfect way to celebrate this major milestone. We have been running training programmes for nearly a decade now, as we believe it is the best way to introduce sustainability to the supply chain. Educating farmers in effective agricultural practices can significantly improve bean quality and yield and result in increased incomes. From the analysis of these beans it is clear that the quality is extremely good and whilst it is too early to provide specifics about increased yields, we know from past experience that farmers can expect at least a 30% increase in productivity having implemented the new techniques they have learned in training.

We currently run 150 farmer training programmes in 12 other co-operatives and have plans to double this next year. As these co-operatives become certified they will contribute to our overall target of 10,000 tonnes of certified beans in 2010.

So watch out for news on our journey towards sustainability.

Vice President visits our Ghanaian plant

From left to right: Harold Poelma (Cargill), Kouakou N'Bra (co-operative Coopaga), Jacques Kouakou (co-operative Fiédifoué), Daan de Vries (UTZ Certified)

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