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Premium Payments Continue to Improve Livelihoods in Cocoa Communities

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Premium Payments Continue to Improve Livelihoods in Cocoa Communities

Premium Payments Continue to Improve Livelihoods in Cocoa Communities
August 12
09:59 2015

Premium payments for certified sustainable cocoa are continuing to make a significant contribution to improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities, as well as meeting the growing demand for sustainably sourced cocoa and chocolate.

US$19 million was paid to farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, Brazil, Cameroon, Ghana and Indonesia during 2014, bringing the total to US$44 million paid to date under the Cargill Cocoa Promise. The premiums, which are achieved by farmers for selling their UTZ, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade certified cocoa beans, are funded by confectionary and food manufacturers and retailers and are positively supporting the ongoing development of a sustainable cocoa supply chain.

“Premium payments and cocoa certification remain a valuable catalyst in making progress towards a sustainable cocoa supply chain. We are proud to be part of this process and to see the positive developments in the sector. Not only are the cocoa farmers and their communities benefitting from higher incomes and better health and education, at the same time manufacturers, retailers and consumers can be confident about where their cocoa is coming from and how it is being produced,” says Taco Terheijden, Director Cocoa Sustainability at Cargill.

The premium payments are made to certified farmer cooperatives with 50 percent going directly to individual farmer members, and the remainder being invested in projects by the farmer organization to boost productivity, farm development and benefit the community. The premiums are an incentive to adopt good agricultural practices and are directly supporting improvements that are making a positive difference to local communities.

Through its on-the-ground network and long-term personal relationships with cooperatives, Cargill is able to track in full detail how these premiums are distributed and how farmer organizations decide to invest their funds. Recent information shows these are being invested in:

* Strengthening farmer cooperative by providing crop financing, developing buildings, improving logistics, employee health and safety, certification activities

* Community projects such as schools and education, healthcare and road rehabilitation

* Farmer services, such farm development, crop protection, fertilizer distribution.

In Côte d’Ivoire, a first of its kind public-private partnership between the Conseil du Café-Cacoa, Cargill and CARE has enabled 14 farmer cooperatives to use their premium payments to access additional funding to build 11 new schools and three new health centers teaching over 1,650 children and providing access to healthcare for 25,000 people.

“Farmer organizations play a critical role in improving farmer livelihoods and the living standards of local communities, as well as supporting the long-term future of sustainable cocoa”, continues Taco Terheijden. “Our insights prove that premiums paid directly to farmer organizations play a critical role for these organizations to take their destiny in their own hands. While we continue to see a growing demand for sustainable cocoa from our customers it is essential that we share the impact these premiums are making.”

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