- First step towards distributing more than 100,000 cocoa seedlings annually
- Six new fully equipped classrooms donated, benefitting nearly 1000 children
- Farmers also receive agricultural training and tools
At a recent ceremony in Tanzania, 130,000 cocoa seedlings were distributed to cocoa farmers, and six new classrooms were donated to local farming communities. This is a special project of the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, whose mission is to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities. The project is funded by Belgian finest chocolates maker Kim’s Chocolates and implemented by the Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products.
Improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities
Productivity and access to education are both important levers in terms of improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities. They are instrumental in the fight against poverty, and assist in building stronger, more robust local communities.
Kim’s Chocolates and the Cocoa Horizons Foundation are consolidating their collaboration to support farmers and their communities by increasing the productivity of their cocoa farms and by providing access to education. In Tanzania, Barry Callebaut’s direct sourcing and farm services organization, Biolands, works directly with farmers, ensuring close relationships to effectively implement sustainability programs.
“We are very proud of this program with Kim’s Chocolates, which is a proof point of the great work that Barry Callebaut delivers for its customers and partners,” says Anke Massart, Business Development Manager for Sustainable Cocoa at Barry Callebaut. “Via the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, we continue to scale impact and drive change to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities, with the support of the local government and communities, and in close partnership with our customers.”
Increasing the productivity of cocoa farms with new planting material
In the presence of members of the Kyela district authorities and community members, 130,000 cocoa seedlings were distributed to 240 selected cocoa farmers to replace their aging trees. More vigorous trees will give higher yields and improve the income and livelihoods of the cocoa farmers. More than 100,000 seedlings will be distributed each year.
In parallel, the project partners have established a training program to share technical knowledge and good agricultural practices through a “train the trainer” approach. In the next three years, 45 best practice demonstration plots will be set up to support the training of 4,500 cocoa farmers in Tanzania.
The project partners will also supply the cocoa farmers with tools such as pruning shears and saws to implement their newly acquired knowledge.
Facilitating access to primary education
Kim’s Chocolates program “Cocoa for Schools” focuses on the cocoa growing districts of Tanzania. The six new classrooms are located in Lubele and Lubaga, near Kyela, and are benefitting 966 children. The 100 villages around Lake Nyasa account for more than 55,000 pupils.
“This is not a feel-good action. It’s an initiative that will make a substantial difference to the farming community” says Fons Maex, CEO of Kim’s Chocolates. “Kim’s Chocolates aims to finish 130 classrooms and renovate 50, with many more to come in the long term. This will be done in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations, customers, the local industry and the villagers themselves. By working both on education and on productivity, we are acting on two crucial levers to combat poverty among cocoa farmers.”
About Barry Callebaut Group:
With annual sales of about CHF 6.2 billion (EUR 5.6 billion / USD 6.6 billion) in fiscal year 2014/15, the Zurich-based Barry Callebaut Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products – from sourcing and processing cocoa beans to producing the finest chocolates, including chocolate fillings, decorations and compounds. The Group runs more than 50 production facilities worldwide and employs a diverse and dedicated global workforce of more than 9,000 people.
The Barry Callebaut Group serves the entire food industry, from industrial food manufacturers to artisanal and professional users of chocolate, such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakers, hotels, restaurants or caterers. The two global brands catering to the specific needs of these Gourmet customers are Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®. The Barry Callebaut Group is committed to sustainable cocoa production to help ensure future supplies of cocoa and improve farmer livelihoods. It supports the Cocoa Horizons Foundation in its goal to shape a sustainable cocoa and chocolate future.
About the Cocoa Horizons Foundation (www.cocoahorizons.org):
The Cocoa Horizons Foundation was formally established in 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland and is supervised by the Swiss Federal Foundation Supervisory Authority. Its mission is to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities through the promotion of sustainable, entrepreneurial farming, improved productivity and community development. The Foundation’s Board of Directors includes two directors appointed by Barry Callebaut and one independent, external director. The Foundation is audited annually to demonstrate compliance with Swiss federal regulations.
About Kim’s Chocolates (www.kimchoc.be):
Since 1987, Kim's Chocolates has been creating the premium Belgian chocolates. As one of the country’s biggest manufacturer and the number 1 chocolate exporter to Canada and the United States, the company believes that its quality of products is something quite special. For almost 30 years, pleased customers from around the world have been enjoying delicious chocolatey morsels from its wide range of unique bars, tablets and assortments.
All Kim’s products are made in state-of-the-art factory in Tienen (the Sugar Town), located in the center of Belgium. The attention to detail at the factory is astonishing, and is fitted with the latest technology that focuses heavily on hygiene control and environmental protection.
In addition, the "Cocoa for Schools" project is committed to improve the lives of thousands of cocoa farmers and their families in Kyela, Tanzania. Through the project, Kim’s Chocolates works tirelessly to improve the infrastructure for education in local communities. Its target is to build in the next 10-12 years around 800 classrooms and distribute around 430.000 school books. Beyond education, the project also assists farmers in a number of ways, including teaching agricultural skills, distributing new cocoa trees and providing solar electricity generating devices.www.cocoaforschools.be or www.facebook.com/cocoaforschools