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Cargill Continues to Support Cocoa Sector in Cote d’Ivoire

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Cargill Continues to Support Cocoa Sector in Cote d’Ivoire

Cargill Continues to Support Cocoa Sector in Cote d’Ivoire
November 08
20:49 2011

Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business has agreed a memorandum of understanding that underlines its continued support for Ivorian cocoa farmers and the development of the country’s cocoa sector. Cargill will invest $3.25 million to develop and expand its farmer training programme and support activities to enable co-operatives to obtain independent UTZ and Rain Forest Alliance certification. This includes a partnership with ANADER, Cote d’Ivoire’s national rural development agency, to support farmer training activities and the distribution of 600,000 cocoa tree seedlings to participating co-operatives to help improve and renew existing cocoa farms.

 

The agreement with ANADER was signed at a ceremony in Abidjanby the Minister of Agriculture for Cote d’Ivoire, Monsieur Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly and Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer.

 

Pictured to the left of the portrait picture in the centre of the photograph is Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer. Next to him on the right is Minister of Agriculture for Cote d'Ivoire, Monsieur Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly.

“Cote d’Ivoire remains one of the foremost producers of cocoa in the world, and this agreement strengthens our ongoing commitment to help improve the farming practices and the livelihoods of Ivorian cocoa farmers, as well as support the development of the country’s cocoa sector,” says Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer.

 

The $3.25 million allocation for farmer training marks another step in Cargill’s Sustainable Cocoa Programme, which is its ongoing commitment to build a sustainable cocoa supply chain, support cocoa farmers and improve livelihoods in cocoa growing communities.

 

Cargill has been training Ivorian cocoa farmers for more than 10 years and currently helps tens of thousands of farmers increase yields, improve quality and adopt more sustainable practices. In 2011/2012 it will train over 60,000 farmers across 90 co-operatives in Cote d’Ivoire through over 1,100 farmer field schools. This training has already enabled 44 farmer co-operatives to achieve independent UTZ certification and this figure will double to 90 certified co-operatives by October 2012.

 

The intensive 10-month programme for co-operatives and their members focuses on farming techniques and post-harvest activities such as pruning, plantation renewal and cocoa fermentation methods. In addition it also stresses broader social aspects, such as the importance of ensuring children’s education and HIV awareness.

 

In crop year 2011/12 Cargill is forecasting to purchase 50,000 tonnes of certified cocoa, which will represent cocoa premium payments totalling over $9 million. Over 50% of these payments go directly to farmers with the remainder being invested by the co-operatives to provide assistance to members and to build local community facilities. Cargill is continuing to work closely with co-operatives to reach its target of 100,000 tonnes of certified sustainable cocoa beans from Cote d’Ivoire by 2015.

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