Cocoa tree

Sustainable cocoa is front and center at Barry Callebaut Americas’ customer seminar

  • Underscores Barry Callebaut’s leadership and ongoing commitment to sustainable cocoa
  • Annual U.S. event and seminars in Europe to meet growing global interest in sustainably-grown cocoa 

More than 50 participants – representing 21 customer companies – attended Barry Callebaut Americas’ 2nd Annual Cocoa Sustainability Seminar at the Chicago Chocolate Academy in mid-April.

Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading supplier of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, hosted this seminar to provide customers in North America an overview of the company’s sustainable cocoa programs including its flagship Quality Partner Program (QPP) and to offer a platform for representatives from independent cocoa certification standards, including Fairtrade USA, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified, to present the goals and compliance criteria of their respective programs.

“It is clear that many of our customers are increasing their sustainability efforts and this seminar facilitates their program development,” said Mark Freeman, VP of National, Regional and Retail Food Manufacturers Accounts.

Barry Callebaut is at the forefront of efforts to boost farm productivity, increase quality and improve family livelihoods in key cocoa producing countries, primarily in West Africa. The day-long seminar in Chicago followed similar events in Germany, France, the U.K. and Belgium, where customers had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the variety of sustainable cocoa solutions that exist in the market today.

“We are looking to expand our sustainable cocoa offerings as demand increases, especially here in the U.S.,” added Freeman. “In addition to offering informational seminars to keep our customers updated on Barry Callebaut’s ongoing sustainability efforts, we are committed to serving as their trusted ‘partner of choice’ to develop customized solutions for all their sustainable cocoa needs.”

Central to Barry Callebaut’s efforts in offering sustainable cocoa is its recently-launched, multimillion dollar program called “Cocoa Horizons,” aimed at further improving yields, quality and livelihoods in key cocoa-producing countries over the course of the next 10 years. Cocoa Horizons activities will be implemented in cooperation with agricultural and development experts and government institutions.

The company will focus first on large producer countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, Cameroon and Brazil, and aims to expand the initiative to other cocoa producing countries with high development potential over the coming years. The initiative builds on Barry Callebaut’s Quality Partner Program for cocoa farmer cooperatives. Launched in 2005, and currently engaging approximately 42,000 farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon, QPP was the first program of its kind to emphasize quality improvement goals for cocoa as well as farming practices.


Barry Callebaut:
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. 

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