supporting cocoa farmers at the time of COVID-19
Barry Callebaut's tradition of supporting cocoa farmers
In cocoa origin countries this means that we are working to ensure that our operations do not put employees or cocoa farmers at risk and do not contribute to the inadvertent spread of the virus.
With our long-standing tradition of supporting cocoa farmers production in cocoa origin producing countries, we continue to purchase and deliver cocoa, process cocoa in origin, and ensure, as much as possible, the economic viability of the cocoa supply chain. It is critical that we support the livelihoods and income of cocoa farmers whilst protecting their health and their family’s health.
In compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, local regulations and government directives on COVID-19, we have halted all activities that require:
- The unnecessary movement of Barry Callebaut’s Sourcing and Sustainability employees from cities to farms or villages
- Large gatherings of farmers or farmer communities
- Close interactions with farmers’ families, households or communities (e.g. census, data collection, trainings, etc.)
- Third-party labor (e.g. providing support for sustainability activities)
Our coaches are updating farmers on hygiene and social distancing
In order to support cocoa farmers and their communities, we have identified activities which continue to be implemented at the date of this publication through locally-based coaches who live in farming communities. These coaches have been trained, and will continue to be updated with the latest guidelines, on COVID-19, via phone, and will support farmers while respecting governmental and Barry Callebaut guidelines (e.g. only one-to-one interaction whilst practicing social distancing, hand washing, no hand shaking), on the following activities:
- Farm Business Plans, certification, mapping, coaching visits, and Productivity Package deliveries.
Finally, while individuals across the globe are being severely impacted by the health and economic ramifications from the Corona pandemic, Barry Callebaut recognizes the additional need to support and protect at-risk communities in our supply chain, who are already struggling in these areas. To do so, we have committed to:
- Distribute official WHO posters with COVID-19 protective instructions to farmer groups, via local coaches.
- Sensitize farmers on the risk of COVID-19, and provide each family with soap, via local coaches while interacting for official purposes.
- Support governmental dissemination of evolving and urgent information to remote communities, via our coaching networks.
We will continue to explore opportunities to support our farming communities during these rapidly evolving times.