Cargill doubles levels of sustainable cocoa sourced from Ghana

Cargill has reported that the amount of sustainable cocoa sourced in Ghana has doubled to 10,000 metric tonnes since the establishment of its own licensed buying company (LBC) model.

The global food ingredients and agricultural solutions business said that over 13,000 cocoa farmers are now benefiting from the initiative – up by 30% from 10,000 a year ago, which offers support to those working with the industry, as well as adding an additional level of transparency to the supply chain.

Cargill has made its second sustainable premium renumeration of $870,000 to farmers since establishing its own direct sourcing model in 2016. These premium payments currently represent the highest payments paid per bag of certified cocoa in the industry for the 2017/2018 crop season in Ghana.

As the company explained, under the LBC model, the business sources and purchases cocoa directly from certified farmers, building stronger relationships both with them and their communities.

Approximately half of the sustainable premium payments are used directly by the farmers to increase productivity and invested in a range of projects such as crop financing and protection, distribution of fertiliser and improving logistics and infrastructure. The other half is used by the wider community to support education, healthcare and women empowerment initiatives, making a significant contribution to improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities, complementing other community projects undertaken through the Cargill Cocoa Promise.

“Direct sourcing puts cocoa farmers at the heart of our business,” says Pieter Reichert, managing director of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in Ghana,” revealed the senior executive, explaining that its initiative has resulted in it becoming a partner of choice for cocoa farmers in Ghana.

“Farmers are recognising that, as well as a higher income, our approach offers them a wide range of support services to help them improve the quality and quantity of cocoa beans produced. Such services, delivered under our Cargill Cocoa Promise, include one-on-one agricultural coaching, farmer field schools, high quality seedlings and resources for pest and disease management. The model benefits everyone in the supply chain – farmers, who livelihoods improve and Cargill and our customers, who have access to more certified cocoa.”

Unusually for the Ghanaian market, the LBC is fully e-money enabled. This allows Cargill to pay farmers directly by electronic transfer, ensuring the money reaches the grower swiftly, safely and accurately.

Speaking at the payment ceremony, Pieter Reichert added: “It is our hope that our electronic payment model which has proven to benefit the farmers, will help encourage the government to fulfil its vision of a cashless economy.” Currently operating in seven districts of the Western North (Awaso, Anhwiaso, Wiawso, Asawinso) and Ashanti (Effiduase, Nyinahin and Ampenim), the success of the LBC has led to four further districts joining the initiative for the next crop season.

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