For many years we have been actively engaged in programs for a better livelihood for cocoa farmers and the elimination of abusive child labor practices in the cocoa-growing countries of West Africa.
Here are some examples of our own projects:
- "Quality Partner" Program in Côte d’Ivoire
We are taking direct action to help to improve cocoa farmer livelihoods through our Quality Partner Program (Partenaire de Qualité) in Côte d’Ivoire. Launched in 2005, the program offers training in good agricultural practices and post-harvest management to help enable farmers to improve the quality of their cocoa beans and to increase their yields. By delivering high-quality cocoa they can earn a better price, and by producing more cocoa they can increase their earning potential.
- Biolands in Tanzania
Biolands in Tanzania, in which Barry Callebaut now has a 100% stake, was founded in 1999 in order to work with smallholder cocoa farmers to help them improve the quality and the value of their production. Biolands works directly with the more than 20,000 participating farmers to ensure fair prices are paid to the farmers and to improve the quality of cocoa and the farmers’ quality of life. This approach guarantees full traceability for every bag of cocoa sold to us, enabling consumers to know this cocoa has been produced in a sustainable and responsible manner. Biolands cocoa is certified organic by the Swiss-based Institute for Marketecology IMO, and also been certified “Social & Fair”. Meanwhile, the Biolands enterprise is one of the largest organic smallholder programs in the world. Barry Callebaut has bought all the cocoa produced by Biolands since 2000.
- Bio United in Sierra Leone
In 2008/09 we supported Biolands’ efforts to replicate its farmer-centric business model in Sierra Leone, a country recovering from war. Some 40,000 farmers registered to participate in the organic program under the established business entity Bio United. They were able to increase their yield from 290 tonnes of cocoa in 2008 to 2,000 tonnes today.
We actively participate in industry initiatives and programs. As making the cocoa supply chain more sustainable and improving labor conditions is a huge and complex challenge, action needs to be taken by industry as a whole, in conjunction with the respective governments, advocacy groups and NGOs. We therefore support all major industry organizations and initiatives, such as the World Cocoa Foundation, the "Sustainable Tree Crops Program” and International Cocoa Initiative. We are also one of the donors of the 'Cocoa Livelihoods Program'. Launched in 2009, this project is jointly funded by industry and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and aims at doubling the income of about 200,000 cocoa farmers in five West African countries within five years.