· Training implemented by Barry Callebaut’s local sustainability experts in cooperation with UTZ Certified representatives
· Work with intermediaries complements company’s work with farmer organizations and cooperatives
· Advances company’s efforts to make agricultural training available to a broader spectrum of farmers in Côte d’Ivoire
Zurich/Switzerland, October 4, 2012 – Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate, has extended its agriculture training activities in Côte d’Ivoire to cocoa supply chain intermediaries. Training to meet the sustainability standards of UTZ Certified, an independent certification program for cocoa, is being provided to eight intermediaries in key cocoa growing regions.
The local intermediaries provide services to an estimated 13,000 independent farmers in their respective regions including the collection and purchase of fermented and dried cocoa beans.
“While work to strengthen and expand the number of cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire is continuing, most cocoa farmers are not members of farmer organizations and sell their beans to local intermediaries,” said Nicholas Camu, Group Manager “Cocoa Horizons.” “To advance sustainable cocoa production, and to complement our work with farmer organizations, we are developing innovative programs to reach many of these unaffiliated farmers and intermediaries. We are pleased to be working with UTZ Certified in this new training effort.”
Over the next several years, Barry Callebaut’s in-house sustainability team, together with representatives from the UTZ Certified program, will provide agricultural training to farmer trainers and will assist administrators in developing documentation and implementing internal control systems, as required by the UTZ Certified program.
The training activities with intermediaries, part of Barry Callebaut’s “Cocoa Horizons” global sustainability initiative, build on the company’s successful prior experience in training cooperatives and farmer groups to be independently certified.
“UTZ Certified is a program and a label for sustainable farming,” said Daan de Vries, Field Director UTZ Certified. “As a program, UTZ Certified functions as an architect and enabler of sustainable supply chains. To reach our shared goal to make sustainability the norm rather than an exception, we need to work closely with all players in the cocoa value chain. We are very pleased with the commitment of the participating intermediaries and Barry Callebaut to work to achieve long-term economic viability for producers and markets, protect our natural resources and contribute to improving farmer livelihoods