Barry Callebaut, the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, was honored for its collective sustainability efforts over the past years with the prestigious "Sustainable Standard-Setter" award at the Rainforest Alliance 2013 Annual Gala on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at New York's American Museum of Natural History.
The esteemed event recognizes exceptional achievements made by companies in key areas of sustainability and is founded on the principle of "building a world where people and the environment prosper together."
The company's CEO Juergen B. Steinemann, stated "we are honored to receive such a prestigious award from an organization that shares many of the same values as Barry Callebaut. Our ongoing collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance allows us to continue to encourage cocoa-farming practices that are sustainable over the long term."
Steven Retzlaff, president of global sourcing and cocoa, echoed these sentiments, noting "Contributing to a sustainable cocoa supply chain and proactively engaging in cocoa farming communities is fundamental to our company. We applaud the efforts of farmer groups who commit to sustainable agricultural practices and succeed in achieving the criteria to be Rainforest Alliance Certified."
"We are proud to honor Barry Callebaut at our 2013 Gala Awards Dinner, recognizing the company's outstanding efforts promoting sustainability," said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. "Through supporting the Rainforest Alliance's approach to sustainable production, Barry Callebaut is having a demonstrable impact on the ground, helping to improve the lives and livelihoods of cocoa farming communities."
Barry Callebaut's commitment to sustainably grown cocoa
Last year, Barry Callebaut accelerated its efforts with the initiation of the largest sustainability initiative, "Cocoa Horizons". "Cocoa Horizons" is a USD 42 million cocoa sustainability initiative, which was launched as part of the company's decision to make Sustainable Cocoa one of the four pillars of its corporate strategy. The initiative's key goals are to further boost farm productivity, increase quality and improve family livelihoods in key cocoa producing countries over the next 10 years. Under its "Cocoa Horizons" initiative, Barry Callebaut has implemented a number of innovative programs, as for example a recent cocoa farmer training program in joint initiative with the Rainforest Alliance to help protect the Taï National Park in southwest Côte d'Ivoire.
One of Barry Callebaut's landmark sustainability projects is the Quality Partner Program (QPP) through which the key goals of "Cocoa Horizons" are implemented on the ground in direct collaboration with cocoa farming cooperatives, agricultural associations and government institutions. The program, which was founded in 2005, helps to train and support cocoa farmers to increase yields and quality and improve their livelihoods through higher income and improved access to education and basic health care. Over 30,000 cocoa farmers have benefited from the Quality Partner Program. Barry Callebaut also offers agricultural training and support to cooperatives in the Quality Partner Program who are interested in becoming Rainforest Alliance Certified.
Seven other organizations—AMResorts, IndoTeak Design, Kapawi Ecolodge & Reserve, Kingfisher plc, NESCAFÉ, Olam International Ltd. and Tata Global Beverages—along with Barry Callebaut are this year's Rainforest Alliance "Sustainable Standard-Setter" award recipients.