Cargill has released its first global progress report on its activities to support cocoa farmers, communities and the development of a sustainable global cocoa supply chain. The report entitled "A thriving cocoa sector for generations to come" highlights the progress the company has made since its work began over a decade ago and the Cargill Cocoa Promise was launched in 2012 to align its efforts.
"Our ambition is to accelerate progress towards a supply chain that is transparent, enables farmers to achieve better incomes and living standards, and delivers a sustainable supply of cocoa and chocolate products," said Jos de Loor, president of Cargill's cocoa and chocolate business. "We believe educated, empowered and successful farmers are essential to meeting the challenges facing the cocoa and chocolate sector. This report shows how we are making a difference but also highlights the progress we still need to make."
The Cargill Cocoa Promise has reinforced the company's global commitment to improving the livelihoods of farmers, their families and their communities, and to securing a long-term, sustainable supply of cocoa. The global program is taking a local approach by using Cargill's extensive on-the-ground sourcing network to strengthen farmer organizations and work with communities, governments and NGOs to understand local issues and make tangible, long-term differences.
The Cocoa Promise is addressing key challenges in the sector including the need to increase yields and incomes for farmers; improve access to training, infrastructure and finance; improve access to education and healthcare in communities; and regenerate farmland.
The report highlights major results and achievements to date, which include:
- More than 115,000 farmers trained in good agricultural practices in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Indonesia, Brazil and Vietnam
- 2,550 Farmer Field Schools established globally to provide training and knowledge sharing locally
- 77,000 farmers and more than 342,201 hectares certified through farmer cooperatives and organizations
- Establishing the Coop Academy in Côte d'Ivoire—a unique, industry-first program to provide cooperative leaders with knowledge and skills to grow their businesses more successfully
- $25 million of certification premiums paid to farmer cooperatives—50 percent directly benefits farmers while remainder invested by farmer organizations in local communities
- 25.3 million seedlings distributed to support growth in cocoa production, particularly in Brazil
- Improved access to education for over 34,000 children in cocoa communities through school build activities, training teachers and providing books
"Since we launched the Cargill Cocoa Promise, we have been focusing on delivering positive, tangible results," De Loor said. "But in order to benefit more farmers and communities, as well as advance our ambition of a transparent supply chain, it is essential we continue to adapt our approach in each origin. The demand for cocoa is rising each year and consumers are increasingly conscious of where their food comes from and how it is produced. This means collaborating more closely with our customers, governments and partners to understand the challenges facing smallholders and measuring the real impacts of activities to ensure we continue to make a bigger difference."