As a result of low yields due to poor farming practices, aging trees and limited access to inputs such as fertilizer and planting materials. The average cocoa farmer’s income is significantly below the World Bank’s extreme poverty line of USD 1.90/day. Such low income makes it impossible for farmers to invest in their farms, or to hire staff to work the fields.
Aligned with the industry’s CocoaAction strategy, we commit to tackling farmer poverty by empowering farmers to earn a better income through access to training, coaching, financing and planting material. We will also reach out to governments in origin countries and work with donors to create an enabling environment for the sustainable replanting of cocoa farms.
Credit For More Than 100,000 Farmers
Barry Callebaut, together with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) entered into a risk-sharing agreement to help more than 100,000 smallholder farmers in Côte d’Ivoire access credit needed to grow their production and earnings.
Together with the Jacobs Foundation, we will invest CHF 2.2 million through 2019 in cocoa farmer training programs in Côte d’Ivoire. The programs train farmers in 80 cocoa growing communities. They will focus on agricultural practices that will increase cocoa yields, and cocoa farmer’s income. A special focus will be on providing training to currently under-represented groups in cocoa farming, young farmers and female farmers. This program is in addition to the broad range of education and training opportunities we have rolled out in the communities we have sourced from in the past decade and through which we train thousands of farmers each year.
Biolands is our direct sourcing and farm services organization. Biolands uses a bottom-up model, working with smallholder farmers to ensure they are paid a fair price and to improve cocoa quality and yields. This farmer-centric, village-to-port approach enables strong relationships with farmers built on mutual trust, and full traceability for every bag of cocoa from the farmer to Barry Callebaut’s warehouse. The model also supports the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, enabling the implementation of program activities under the pillars of productivity and community development.