Our pilot projects, which were launched in 2017/18, were developed to understand not just the effectiveness, but also the rate of adoption by farmers of fertilizers, productivity packages, farm rehabilitation programs, shade trees and crop and livestock diversification. Partnering with Wageningen University,the world’s leading agricultural university, has provided us with initial insights into the effectiveness of our pilots.
We have now mapped the geographical location, as well as the size of 295,383 cocoa farms which are captured in our Katchilè database. We have conducted census interviews with 229,142 cocoa farmers (+75%), capturing socio-economic and household data. For 176,984 farms we conducted both geographical mapping as well as census interviews. This unprecedented collection of farmer data has allowed us to individualize our Farm Business Plans. These are designed to enable farmers to develop their cocoa farms into rehabilitated, diverse and professionally run farms over a period of several years.
The Plans offer specific advice on the best mix of seedlings and fertilizers and help farmers to access labor and inputs on credit. Over 16,000 farmers have adopted Farm Business Plans. Furthermore in 2018/19 we distributed over 1.8 million cocoa seedlings and over 750,000 shade trees. We also distributed close to 13,500 productivity packages, which include training on tree pruning techniques and the use of fertilizer.
Finally, we leveraged the learnings from the pilots in Cocoa Horizons, our preferred vehicle to support the implementation of our sustainability activities. Cocoa Horizons allows our customers to offer products that support the creation of self-sustaining cocoa farming communities. The premiums from the purchase of HORIZONS products generated CHF 15 million in funds (+40%). Through these premiums more than 135,000 farmers can take part in the program focusing on improving their productivity and income. These premiums also financed child labor sensitization programs, training 27,448 farmers in the Cocoa Horizons program on Child Labor.
Our measured impact
In 2018/19 49,909 (+303%) farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Brazil and Indonesia had access to farm services, including coaching as well as other inputs such as tools, seedlings and finance. A total of 420 hectares of cocoa were replanted. Progress here continues to be affected by the Ivorian government’s decision in 2018 to put the distribution of cocoa seedlings, and the replacing of aging cocoa trees in that country, on hold.
We did see an improvement in productivity per hectare for farmers with access to farm services, but we have not been able to demonstrate a causal link with our activities. This is foremost a methodological challenge which we hope to tackle in the coming fiscal year. Therefore we decided to refrain from reporting on this KPI for 2018/19. Measured against the World Bank’s threshold of USD 1.90/day, we estimate that 184,623 cocoa farmers in our supply chain have been lifted out of poverty.