- Patented fermentation technology delivers “zero-defect” beans with better taste properties – overall volume could double in 2012/2013
- Farmers who use the advanced technique earn a premium for their beans
- Barry Callebaut expands fermentation method in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Indonesia under its Cocoa Horizons global sustainability initiative
Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate, has recognized five farmer cooperatives in the Bas- Sassandra region of Côte d’Ivoire as the top producers of superior quality cocoa beans using Barry Callebaut’s advanced fermentation technique. By applying the patented technique, farmers can produce cocoa beans with no defects or off-flavors in significantly less time than by conventional fermentation methods. The beans are fully traceable to the respective grower’s farm.
Over the two-year period from 2010/11 to 2011/12, the participating farmers continually expanded their use of the technique, and today more than half of the cocoa supplied by the cooperatives is produced using Barry Callebaut’s advanced fermentation method. The cooperatives are paid a premium for this superior quality cocoa compared to average prices for conventionally fermented cocoa.
The achievements of the cooperatives were celebrated at a ceremony and community festival, sponsored by Barry Callebaut, in Bas-Sassandra in March 2012. Speakers included representatives from the regional Department of Agriculture, the national rural development agency ANADER, and local government.
“The cooperatives are doing an outstanding job and showing significant year-on-year improvements,” said Nicholas Camu, Group Manager Cocoa Horizons at Barry Callebaut. “Farmers are highly motivated to use the technique when they see with their own eyes the superior quality of the cocoa fermented in this manner. Seeing really is believing.” The company estimates the volume of beans produced with its fermentation method to double in 2012/13.
All five cooperatives are members of Barry Callebaut’s flagship sustainability program in Côte d’Ivoire – Quality Partner Program (QPP) – launched in 2005. The cooperatives enrolled two years ago in what started as a research trial by the company’s global Research & Development (R&D) department to assess the impact of using its advanced technique to control the cocoa fermentation process.
With the successful adoption of the fermentation technique by farmers in the field and increased interest from cooperatives, Barry Callebaut expanded its Controlled Fermentation programs in Côte d’Ivoire and launched new programs in Cameroon and Indonesia as part of its recently announced Cocoa Horizons global sustainability initiative. The company will invest CHF 40 million over 10 years to boost farm productivity, increase quality and improve family livelihoods in key cocoa producing countries in West and Central Africa as well as in Indonesia and Brazil.
In keeping with its goal to transfer successful research results into innovative products, Barry Callebaut in 2011 launched Terra CacaoTM chocolate made from “zero-defect beans” from Côte d’Ivoire. Terra CacaoTM is produced using the company’s advanced fermentation technique, and has won several innovation awards.
With annual sales of about CHF 4.6 billion (EUR 3.6 billion/USD 5.0 billion) for fiscal year 2010/11, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate – from the cocoa bean to the finished chocolate product. Barry Callebaut is present in 27 countries, operates around 40 production facilities and employs a diverse and dedicated workforce of about 6,000 people. Barry Callebaut serves the entire food industry focusing on industrial food manufacturers, artisans and professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), the latter with its two global brands Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®. 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. Cost leadership is another important reason why global as well as local food manufacturers work together with Barry Callebaut. Through its broad range of sustainability initiatives and research activities, the company works with farmers, farmer organizations and other partners to help ensure future supplies of cocoa and improve farmer livelihoods.