In order to help farmers increase yields and to drive knowledge-sharing in the field, Barry Callebaut is in the process of establishing a Cocoa Center of Excellence in Ivory coast and Farmer Academies across the cocoa-growing regions. The patented controlled fermentation process is making it easier for farmers to deliver high-quality beans.
Barry Callebaut began work on a Center of Cocoa Excellence in Pacobo, in central Côte d’Ivoire in mid-2012 and is planning 5 Farmer Academies in important cocoa growing regions of the country. Cocoa Horizons defines a portfolio of yield enhancement techniques aimed at increasing the yields per hectare and quality of cocoa grown by smallholder farmers. Various training approaches and methodologies, such as Farmer Field Schools, are used to promote sound agricultural and labor practices, proper fermentation and drying, and disease and pest management. Model farms will be established in cooperation with local communities. These will be used for research and a range of training activities including specialized advanced training in grafting and farm regeneration. Barry Callebaut expects to reach an additional 50,000 smallholder farmers through its various training activities over the next 10 years.
A patented advanced fermentation technique, developed by Barry Callebaut, creates additional opportunities for farmers to increase their incomes. Using this technique, farmers can produce high quality cocoa beans with no defects or off-flavors in significantly less time than by conventional fermentation methods.
In 2011, Barry Callebaut began marketing “Terra Cacao™”, a chocolate made from controlled fermentation “zero-defect beans” from Côte d’Ivoire, and won several coveted innovation awards with the groundbreaking product. Based on the exceptional success of the program in Côte d’Ivoire, Barry Callebaut launched a parallel program in Cameroon where participating farmers are earning more for their cocoa, compared to the average prices for conventionally fermented and dried Cameroon cocoa.