The programme is aimed at improving the livelihoods of smallholder cocoa farmers through farm and community level activities. It is part of the company’s initiatives to help ensure that cocoa is grown in a sustainable way, generating better income for farmers and safeguarding the environment. The programme will be expanded in Ghana and additional origin countries in the coming years.
Under Cocoa Horizons, participants are trained on good agricultural practices (GAP), good environmental practices (GEP) and good social practices (GSP), using Farmer Field Schools and individual coaching as well as practical demonstrations. The programme also includes initiatives to empower women, protect children and provide basic education and health.
In Ghana, 7,500 farmers, representing 16 cocoa districts, are currently enrolled in the Cocoa Horizons Programme. That number is expected to exceed 22,000 farmers by the 2016/2017 crop year. This year, 650,000 Ghana Cedis ($161,692 USD) will be paid out in premiums to farmers enrolled in the programme. The project team responsible for the delivery and implementation of Cocoa Horizons consists of community-based lead farmers, and representatives from Barry Callebaut’s subsidiary Nyonkopa including technical officers and a project manager.
Speaking at the launch event Nicko Debenham, VP Global Cocoa Sustainability for Barry Callebaut and MD of Biolands, Barry Callebaut’s direct sourcing arm, said, “Barry Callebaut is committed to the realization of a sustainable cocoa sector in Ghana and other origin countries. Leveraging our presence with Nyonkopa, we can provide access to sustainability training in the areas of Productivity Enhancement, Community Development and Farm Services to an even greater number of cocoa farmers in Ghana.”
Establishing the next generation of farmers is a critical factor in preventing a cocoa supply shortage in years to come. Cocoa Horizons also strives to reinforce cocoa farming as an attractive and profitable business for young, entrepreneurial-minded farmers in Ghana.
The meeting was attended by Mr. James Kofi Kutoasti, Dy.CEO – Operations – Ghana Cocobod, and the dignitaries from the Local Government of New Edubiase District, Ashanti Region.
More info on Barry Callebaut’s cocoa sustainability activities can be found in its Chocolate Sustainability Report 2014/15.