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Posts Tagged ‘sustainable cocoa’

Barry Callebaut launches Cocoa Horizons Foundation

September 26th, 2015
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  • Independent, nonprofit Cocoa Horizons Foundation established to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities
  • Platform for chocolate companies and other contributors to support sustainable cocoa
  • Traceability from farm to warehouse; transparency on core activities and impact

Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, today announced the launch of the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization. The mission of the Foundation is to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities through the promotion of sustainable, entrepreneurial farming, improved productivity and community development.

In line with its mission, the Foundation has two focal points: On the one hand training farmers in good agricultural practices and supporting them with materials and innovative financing solutions; and on the other hand working with rural communities to improve education opportunities, support child protection, empower women, and provide safe water and basic health services.

For the implementation of its activities, the Cocoa Horizons Foundation relies on Barry Callebaut’s team of experienced field staff working on the ground with cocoa farmers and farming communities as well as trusted external implementing partners and development experts best suited to the objectives of the activities conducted.

Scaling impact and driving positive change in cocoa communities together
The Cocoa Horizons Foundation serves as a new platform for chocolate companies and other contributors to invest in sustainable cocoa. It is funded via three main sources: 1) the purchase of Barry Callebaut’s sustainable HORIZONS cocoa and chocolate products (which are succeeding QPP products); 2) contributions from donors and customers who are inspired to support the mission of the Foundation; and 3) Barry Callebaut’s contributions as part of its CHF 40 million Cocoa Horizons sustainability initiative launched in 2012. The initial annual operational budget is about CHF 10 million, intended to increase over time.

Juergen Steinemann, CEO of Barry Callebaut, comments: “Barry Callebaut’s commitment to sustainability is of long standing and was formalized in our 10-year, CHF 40 million Cocoa Horizons initiative. This contribution will now be channeled towards the independent Cocoa Horizons Foundation and pooled with funds from customers and other contributors that are committed to sustainable cocoa. 25,000 farmers are already enrolled in Cocoa Horizons Foundation activities. We are strongly convinced that, together, we can scale our impact for many more cocoa farmers and their communities.”

Through pooling resources and funds and putting them to the most effective use while helping drive demand for sustainably sourced cocoa, the Foundation aims to scale impact and drive positive change in cocoa communities.

Ensuring sustainable and traceable cocoa
Traceability and transparency are part of the Foundation’s DNA. Comprehensive data from registered farms are collected into a data management tool and cocoa is traced from the farm to the warehouse. The Foundation communicates transparently to its contributors on its activities, achievements and impact. A global audit firm audits the foundation annually and verifies its core activities.

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Swiss manufacturer Carma switches its chocolate couvertures range to UTZ Certified cocoa

September 26th, 2015
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Swiss business-to-business chocolate manufacturer Carma has changed its chocolate covering to UTZ Certified cocoa.

The Barry Callebaut-owned company is believed to be the first major Swiss B2B manufacturer to have made the shift to UTZ Certified cocoa.

The UTZ scheme entails sustainable farming and better opportunities for the farming community and the world.

The farmers who participate in the sustainability activities of Barry Callebaut are the producers of these UTZ certified cocoa beans. The UTZ labeled chocolate couvertures directly help these cocoa farmers.

According to the company, chocolate craftsmen and their consumers have been seeking assurances for cocoa grown in sustainable manner gets better income and livelihoods for farmers and their families.

In this regard, the UTZ Certified cocoa beans promote sustainable farming methods that help create increased productivity and income to farmers, thereby improving their overall standard of living.

Carma and Barry Callebaut Switzerland managing director Thomas Hagmann said: “Sustainable cocoa will make a positive impact on thousands of cocoa farmers. Opting for Carma’s couvertures is a wise choice.

“Not only does it offer great taste and the traditional attributes of Swiss chocolate; but our customers can now also tell end consumers that by enjoying their chocolate, they support sustainable cocoa farming. This is the claim many consumers are looking for.”

Source:  food-business-review.com

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KitKat to go sustainable

September 4th, 2015
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Nestlé has announced that KitKat is the first global chocolate brand that will use only sustainably sourced cocoa to manufacture all of its products, and will do so from the first quarter of 2016.

The brand already uses only sustainably sourced cocoa, Nestlé says, accredited by independent third-party bodies, in products sold in certain markets, but this new announcement extends the practice worldwide, including the United States.

“We’re delighted to be a flag bearer for the industry, as the first global chocolate brand to announce such a move,” said Sandra Martinez, Head of Confectionery for Nestlé. “Sustainable cocoa sourcing helps safeguard the livelihoods of farming communities and delivers higher quality cocoa beans. This announcement will only strengthen consumer trust in KitKat as a responsible brand.”

The initiative, which coincides with KitKat’s 80th birthday, is part of Nestlé’s commitment to source 150,000 tonnes of sustainably produced cocoa by 2017 via the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.

The Nestlé Cocoa Plan aims to improve the lives of cocoa farming communities and the quality of the cocoa Nestlé purchases.

Source:  ingredientsnetwork.com

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Global cocoa sector to convene in Copenhagen for sustainability discussions

October 4th, 2014
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Join global leaders for a 2-day meeting to explore the status of sustainability in the chocolate and cocoa sector. The meeting, hosted by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), will feature prominent speakers from the chocolate and cocoa sector, including government, civil society, public and private sector representatives.

WHAT:    The World Cocoa Foundation 26th Partnership Meeting & Cocoa Sustainability Trade Fair is an opportunity to share the latest developments toward ensuring greater sustainability in the cocoa sector and improving farmer livelihoods. The Meeting theme is “Connecting Sustainability, Standards & Certification.” There will be a focus on WCF’s sustainability strategy, CocoaAction, which was announced in May 2014. For more information about the meeting, including the agenda, please visit: www.worldcocoafoundation.org/partnership-meeting-copenhagen.

WHEN:     October 15 – 16, 2014

WHERE:   Dansk Industri/New House of Industry
H.C. Andersens Boulevard 18, 1553 Copenhagen V, Denmark

WHO:      Representatives from industry, government, development organizations, civil society, and research institutes who are interested in cocoa sustainability are invited to register for the event.

Meeting speakers include:

  • Barry Parkin, Chairman, World Cocoa Foundation
  • Bill Guyton, President, World Cocoa Foundation
  • Carsten Lyngso Thomsen, CEO, Toms
  • Edouard N’guessan, Deputy Director General, Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao (Cote d’Ivoire)
  • Howard-Yana Shapiro, PhD, Chief Agricultural Officer, Mars Advanced Research Institute Fellow, Mars, Incorporated
  • Jason Clay, Senior Vice President, Food & Markets, World Wildlife Fund
  • Gerard Manley, Managing Director & Global Head Cocoa, Olam
  • Dr. Stephen Opuni, Chief Executive, COCOBOD

Event sponsors include: Toms Gruppen; Cargill; The Hershey Company; ADM Cocoa; Barry Callebaut; Blommer Chocolate Company; Guittard Chocolate Company; and Touton.

MEDIA:       Members of the media are welcome and encouraged to attend. Advance registration is required. Journalists interested in attending the Partnership Meeting must email Jackie.Marks@worldcocoa.org describing intent to cover, plus media outlet and contact details.

About World Cocoa Foundation
WCF is an international membership foundation of more than 115 companies that promotes a sustainable cocoa economy by providing cocoa farmers with the tools they need to grow more and better cocoa, market it successfully, and make greater profits. WCF’s membership includes cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80 percent of the global cocoa market. For more information, visit www.worldcocoa.org and follow us on Twitter.com/WorldCocoa.

Source: World Cocoa Foundation

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Chocolate decorations by Barry Callebaut support Quality Partner Program: Chocolate Masters Goes Sustainable

July 25th, 2014
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Barry_Callebaut-logoChocolate Masters™, part of the Barry Callebaut Group and known as the specialist in the production and sale of chocolate and cocoa-based decorations, now fully supports the Quality Partner Program (QPP) for its entire product portfolio.

Partnering for Sustainable Cocoa Cultivation
Barry Callebaut is convinced that the future of chocolate is closely linked with that of cocoa farmers. Therefore, in 2005, the company launched its own Quality Partner Program (QPP) in Côte d’Ivoire, aiming to secure the production of sustainably grown cocoa. In 2010, this program has been expanded to Cameroon. Barry Callebaut works in partnership with farmers and farmer organizations to boost farm productivity, as well as to help address basic education and health needs in rural communities.
QPP aims to improve cocoa cultivation in distinct ways, through farmer training in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and in the usage of sustainable production methods. QPP also works toward improving the overall quality of life of cocoa farmers and their families by offering opportunities to increase earnings, as well as through improved access to safe water and education.

Chocolate and Cocoa-based Decorations
Chocolate Masters™, offers a range of chocolate and cocoa-based decorations and a full range of special collections from seasonal celebrations (such as the Christmas collection) up to colorful marzipan decorations. The Chocolate Masters™ collection is a source of creative, decorative ideas and inspiration for each food professional – be it for the industrial food manufacturers but also for artisanal chocolate producers.

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Cocoa industry signs sustainability strategy in Ghana

June 6th, 2014
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cocoa-1Senior executives from 12 of the world’s largest chocolate companies signed a joint agreement with the Government of Ghana as part of an unprecedented strategy to make cocoa farming in the country sustainable.

The plan, announced known as CocoaAction, calls for building a rejuvenated and economically viable cocoa sector through increased cooperation between industry members and the Ghanaian government. Companies that have voluntarily committed to CocoaAction include ADM, Armajaro, Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate Company, Cargill, Ecom, Ferrero, Hershey, Mars, Mondel?z, Nestlé and Olam International.

Emphasis will be placed on providing cocoa farmers with a combination of productivity enhancements and community development interventions. These efforts are expected to enable no fewer than 100,000 Ghanaian farmers to achieve 100 per cent increase in productivity as well as improving the communities where they live by 2020. The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) will coordinate the strategy.

“This agreement represents one of the most significant steps the sector is taking to make cocoa sustainable,” said Barry Parkin, WCF’s newly-appointed chairman and chief sustainability officer at Mars, in a news release. “This alignment of objectives, commitment of resources, and sharing of best practices is the type of transformative initiative that will really help farmers become more productive and secure the future of cocoa. While it represents a new way for the industry to work with origin countries, it also builds on the strong existing relationships with them. We are honored and proud to move these relationships to a significant next step.”

CocoaAction was carefully and voluntarily developed by the companies in cooperation with the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s top cocoa-producing countries. The two countries provide about 55 percent of the world’s current cocoa supply. CocoaAction will later be extended to other cocoa-producing countries and is already open to participation by others in the public and private sectors that support sustainability in the cocoa sector.

Through CocoaAction, the companies will work closely with the Ghanaian government and other national institutions to provide improved planting materials, fertilizer and training to cocoa farmers, while promoting community development through education, child labor monitoring and remediation, and activities to enhance gender empowerment. A series of indicators, currently being developed by WCF, will accompany the strategy and will allow companies and governments to measure and manage CocoaAction progress.

Source: Bakers Journal

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Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam confirms its commitment to sustainable cocoa industry

November 15th, 2013
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puratos_US_ENPuratos Grand-Place Vietnam inaugurated its Cocoa Collection and Fermentation Plant in Ben Tre province in Vietnam, the first of its kind in the country. This plant also includes a Cocoa Development Center that was opened in collaboration with Mars Group. Both initiatives confirm the strong commitment of Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam towards long-term investment in the Vietnam cocoa industry.

A vertically integrated approach to quality cocoa

With the official opening of the first CCFP, as well as a CDC, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam confirms its commitment and investments to accelerate the development of the sustainable cocoa industry in Vietnam. It is also proof of the company’s vertical integration approach to cocoa. Mr. Gricha Safarian, Managing Director of Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam, comments: “The “beans to bar” concept will be the game changer to the cocoa industry in Vietnam. The opening of the fermentation plant is one of the last steps taken in the region to achieve a full vertical integration from cocoa beans to chocolate bar. This is the result of over ten years of continuous efforts and investment that has gone into the processing of chocolate in Vietnam. Our commitment is strong and our quality approach guarantees the sustainable development of this industry in Vietnam. Instead of relying on importing high added value from abroad, Vietnam is now turning into an exporter of high added value cocoa raw material.”

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Barry Callebaut inaugurates its first Cocoa Center of Excellence to accelerate adoption of sustainable agricultural practices in Côte d’Ivoire

July 12th, 2013
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Barry_Callebaut-logoBarry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, has inaugurated its new Cocoa Center of Excellence to promote advanced agricultural techniques in Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest cocoa producing country. To date Barry Callebaut has invested approximately CHF 1 million (EUR 800,000 / USD 1.1 million) in the Center which includes training facilities for farmers and a 30-hectare “showcase farm” to demonstrate state-of-the-art intercropping techniques and yield enhancement practices to increase farm productivity.

Inauguration of the first Cocoa Center of Excellence on July 5, 2013
More than 300 people attended the ceremonies on July 5, 2013 in Pacobo to inaugurate the Cocoa Center of Excellence. The event was organized by Barry Callebaut’s subsidiary in Côte d’Ivoire, Société Africaine de Cacao (SACO). Guests included His Excellency Bandama Maurice, Minister of Culture and Francophonie, representatives from national ministries in Côte d’Ivoire;  representatives from the governments of Belgium, Switzerland and the United States; other national and local government officials and leaders; farmers and managers from cocoa cooperatives in the region; and community members.

“We appreciate and commend the efforts of Barry Callebaut to contribute to ensuring the sustainability of the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire through the establishment of this new Cocoa Center of Excellence which will serve as a valuable source of knowledge and an important training facility for thousands of cocoa farmers and farmer organizations in the region,” said Kouassi Bredoumi Soumaîla Traoré, General Director of Food Security, representing the Minister of Agriculture of Cote d’Ivoire.

Advanced farmer training programs
The new Cocoa Center of Excellence is located in Pacobo in the Department of Tiassalé in the south-central cocoa growing area of Côte d’Ivoire. It comprises both field and classroom training facilities, separate nurseries to produce cocoa plants and shade trees, as well as fermentation and drying facilities to demonstrate proper post-harvest management practices.

Barry Callebaut will begin training programs for farmer trainers as well as managers and administrators from cooperatives and other farmer organizations in July 2013. The cocoa training curriculum includes modules on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), post-harvest management techniques, crop diversification, composting, farm rehabilitation, and grafting as well as basic business skills and social issues such as labor practices, child protection and other education and health topics. Barry Callebaut initially plans to train about 300 trainers and managers per year at the Cocoa Center of Excellence.

“The farmers in the surrounding communities have already shown great interest in the Center and our ‘showcase farm’ where we are demonstrating crop diversification approaches that complement cocoa production, ensure food security and generate additional sources of income for families,” said Anke Massart, Project Leader Cocoa Horizons in Côte d’Ivoire. “At Barry Callebaut, we see a great opportunity for accelerating the adoption of sustainable practices by training a new generation of trainers in these advanced techniques, and continuing to coach and support them as they share the knowledge with farmers in their home communities and regions.”

The “showcase farm” is also being used to demonstrate the appropriate use of shade trees to protect young cocoa plants on smallholder farms. In the past year, sections of the farm have been planted to test approaches for growing cocoa with other crops including plantain, coconut, mango, pineapple, beans and maize, as well as rubber.

Barry Callebaut is building on its prior experience with intercropping of compatible plants to improve productivity and biodiversity. Since 2010 Barry Callebaut has supported a local project in the region to demonstrate optimal methods of intercropping cocoa, banana and rubber with the goal of improving yields per hectare.

In addition to the environmental benefits, planting other food crops and trees together with cocoa also directly benefits farmers and their families by providing variety to the family diet as well as creating additional sources of income to complement the earnings from cocoa.

The Center will be affiliated with other Barry Callebaut training facilities to be constructed in Côte d’Ivoire in the next 12 months. These facilities, called Barry Callebaut Farmer Academies, will be located in rural communities to serve as training centers or hubs for farmers in more remote communities. The Farmer Academies will offer training and support services to reinforce concepts communicated in Farmer Field Schools and to promote the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and advanced yield techniques, such as grafting, to improve farm productivity.

A cornerstone of the global Cocoa Horizons sustainability initiative
The new Cocoa Center of Excellence is a cornerstone of Barry Callebaut’s global Cocoa Horizons sustainability initiative launched in March 2012. Through Cocoa Horizons programs and activities, Barry Callebaut aims to help build and extend the capacities of farmers, farmer trainers and farmer organizations by offering agricultural trainings to improve cocoa quality and further boost crop yields per hectare, technical consultations and farm management and business support services to tens of thousands of smallholders in key cocoa producing regions in the world. Integrated with the training on farmer practices are targeted activities to address critical education and health issues in cocoa farming communities.

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Farmers in Nigeria receive Kokodola chocolate and first premiums for sustainable chocolate

June 21st, 2013
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cocoa-1Leading cocoa industry players Ferrero, Petra Foods Limited and Continaf have handed out UTZ premiums to Nigerian farmers participating in the Cocoa Productivity and Quality Program, a public private partnership between IDH, Oxfam Novib, Continaf, Ferrero, Petra Foods Limited and Farmers’ Development Union (FADU) in Nigeria.

The partnership project started in April 2012 and is locally known as the ‘Kokodola’ project, meaning ‘cocoa brings wealth’ in the Yoruba language.

The premiums were handed to each farmer that supplied cocoa to the warehouse. The UTZ premiums to best performing farmers were handed out by Mr Arjen Thiescheffer from Continaf BV who pointed out the importance of trust in partnership. Addressing the farmers, he said: “Delivering on our promise on giving out the UTZ premium at the end of this season confirms the commitment of Continaf, Ferrero and Petra Foods to this project and to our most important partners, the farmers, producing the high quality certified cocoa!”

Mr Marc Donaldson from Petra Foods Limited ended the day by handing over a bag full of Kokodola chocolate bars to the farmer who had delivered the first certified cocoa. In his speech Mr Donaldson emphasised the three main outcomes of the project important for Petra Foods Limited: improved farmer income through increased productivity; improved quality for higher quality end product; and traceability of the beans back to the farmer.

Dr Peter Aikpokpodion, team leader of the Cocoa Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria said: “The occasion provided an opportunity for the farmers to better appreciate the current realities of the global cocoa trade and how the local value chain links with the global cocoa value chain, through the process of traceability and certification.“  He added: “I would like to register the Government’s appreciation of the efforts of Continaf BV towards supporting FADU, a local farmer organisation in mainstreaming their cocoa farmers into the global cocoa value chain. The tasting of chocolate produced from our farms showed the premium and first class quality of cocoa produced by Nigerian farmers. Given all the support, Nigerian farmers will continue to produce high quality cocoa beans needed for chocolate and other products. I will like to encourage further engagement with these farmers and more groups to deepen this process that should bring benefits to all partners in a both-win situation.“

The project aims to train and certify more 7500 farmers by 2015. Five main target areas were identified: improved cocoa production and quality; improved access to finance and input; professionalisation of farmer groups; address social issues, with a focus on gender and youth involvement, to empower vulnerable groups and improve livelihoods; set up and strengthen multi-stakeholder groups.

Since the start of the project, more than 1500 farmers have been trained in good agricultural, good environmental and good business practices. All of these farmers passed the certification audit and are now UTZ certified farmers. Farmers interviewed say they have observed significant yield improvements compared to previous seasons; some even say that it was up to a 100%. For 2013 another 2000 new farmers will be trained via farmer field schools. Demo plots in each of the intervention zones are now being installed to show the farmers the potential yield increase that could be achieved. Currently yields are as low as 250 to 300kg/ha. However by applying the right agricultural practices, inputs and planting material this could go up to 1000kg/ha.

Source: Confectionery News

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Cargill extends range of certified sustainable cocoa products in North America

June 7th, 2013
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cocoa-powderLatest addition to the company’s product portfolio as part of the Cargill Cocoa Promise to develop a sustainable cocoa supply chain

Cargill is increasing the range and availability of its certified sustainable cocoa and chocolate products for customers in North America. The products are the latest addition to the company’s sustainable cocoa product portfolio as part of its commitment to supporting sustainable cocoa and chocolate, backed by the Cargill Cocoa Promise.

The Cargill Cocoa Promise is the company’s commitment to the development of a sustainable cocoa supply chain and to meeting the growing demand for sustainable cocoa beans by making a difference in three key areas – improving the lives of cocoa farmers; supporting cocoa farming communities; and investing in the future of cocoa farming. Our long-term approach for a sustainable supply chain uses certification and labels as an enabler to help raise standards and to provide farmers with financial incentives.

In response to growing consumer demand to know where chocolate products come from and how they are produced, Cargill’s Gerkens® cocoa powders, as well as its Peter’s®, Wilbur® and Veliche® chocolate brands will now be available with certification options, including UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance Certified™ and Fairtrade certification.

“We are now able to provide our North American customers the additional benefit of sustainable certification for the high quality products and brands they rely on. It means manufacturers will be able to offer products to their consumers with greater reassurance they have been produced sustainably and that they are making a positive difference to smallholder cocoa farmers,” said Bryan Wurscher, president of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in North America.

Cargill is training over 60,000 farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and 15,000 in Ghana and is on target to source over 100,000 tons of certified sustainable cocoa beans from Côte d’Ivoire by 2015 – making its program the largest of its kind in the country. It has also extended its activities to other major cocoa producing markets including Cameroon, Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia.

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