As part of the Cargill Cocoa Promise, the first Brazilian cocoa farmers have become UTZ Certified and their products can now carry the UTZ Certified label.
Cargill is a founding member of the UTZ Certified Cocoa initiative and promotes sustainable cocoa farming globally by educating and training farmers and farm workers. In the state of Bahia, four cocoa producers have recently been audited and, by partnering with Cargill, they have become the first to produce UTZ Certified cocoa in Brazil. An additional 12 cocoa farms are scheduled to be certified by May 2014, representing about 1,000 metric tons of UTZ Certified cocoa beans. Pursuant with the global trend of increasing consumer demand for sustainable products, Cargill presents an extensive portfolio of sustainable cocoa and chocolate products.
"The UTZ Certified initiative recognizes and rewards the efforts necessary to implement and enhance production processes. By encouraging these practices we reap good fruit, both in respect to cocoa beans as well as the quality of life of farmers, rural workers and the environment. This initiative is aligned with a growing demand from our customers for more sustainable products," explains Rodrigo Melo, origination manager, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate Brazil.
In October 2012 the Cargill plant in Ilheus, Bahia, became Brazil's first cocoa processor to become UTZ Certified. When building a sustainable supply chain, cocoa delivery, storage, and traceability processes are reviewed. Additionally, origination, delivery, and production staff undergo training to apply and replicate the standardized procedures.
The Cargill Cocoa Promise is the company's global commitment to the development of a sustainable cocoa supply chain and to making a difference in three key areas—improving the lives of cocoa farmers, supporting cocoa farming communities, and investing in the future of cocoa farming. The Cargill Cocoa Promise works together in partnerships with NGO's and other local partners in cocoa growing countries. Its long-term approach for a sustainable supply chain uses certification and labels such as UTZ Certified as an enabler to help raise standards and to provide farmers with financial incentives.
Under the Cargill Cocoa Promise, Cargill invests and provides financing, training and support to secure a sustainable cocoa supply chain in cocoa producing countries including in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Vietnam, Indonesia and Brazil. Cargill is training over 80,000 farmers annually and is on target to source over 120,000 tons of certified sustainable cocoa beans by 2015.