Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, today announced it has purchased the majority of the first-ever shipment of cocoa beans from Ghana that fulfill the requirements of the UTZ CERTIFIED sustainability program. UTZ CERTIFIED is an independently-verified assurance that cocoa has been produced in compliance with a defined set of economic, environmental and social criteria.
“This is an important step in our work to ensure a long-term supply of sustainably and responsibly grown cocoa that meets the demands of our customers and consumers,” said Steven Retzlaff, President Global Sourcing & Cocoa at Barry Callebaut. “We appreciate the support of the Ghana Cocoa Board and the Cocoa Marketing Company, and applaud the dedicated efforts of the farmers affiliated with the Cocoa Abrabopa Association, the first cocoa producer group to become UTZ CERTIFIED in Ghana.”
Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA) is a farmer organization that seeks to train and educate Ghanaian farmers to improve cocoa production through proper farm maintenance and responsible use of fertilizers and crop protection products. In 2010 more than 3,900 Ghanaian farmers had achieved UTZ certification, and in the next three years, CAA aims to certify an additional 20,000 farmer members throughout Ghana’s cocoa growing regions.
Barry Callebaut launched its first certified cocoa and chocolate products in 1993, and today works closely with its customers in all sectors of the food industry to meet their specific requirements for cocoa from a specific origin country or cocoa certified by one of the major cocoa certification programs. The company is one of the biggest buyers of UTZ CERTIFIED cocoa from all over the world, and is a member of the UTZ CERTIFIED Steering Group.
With annual sales of about CHF 5.2 billion / EUR 3.6 billion / USD 4.9 billion for fiscal year 2009/10, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate – from the cocoa bean to the finest finished product. Barry Callebaut is present in 26 countries, operates more than 40 production facilities and employs about 7,500 people. The company serves the entire food industry, from food manufacturers to professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), to global retailers. Barry Callebaut is the global leader in cocoa and chocolate innovations and provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing. The company is actively engaged in initiatives and projects that contribute to a more sustainable cocoa supply chain.