Belcolade and Puratos combine for sustainable cocoa sourcing across six global locations
A sustainable cocoa sourcing programme from Belcolade and Puratos’ sustainable cocoa sourcing programme has been formed as a collaboration between the two companies and 8,000 farmers across six international production locations in response to coronavirus market challenges.
Known as Cacao Trace, the new system is now operating in Mexico, Ivory Coast, Vietnam, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Uganda, with the scheme offering support to farmers by guaranteeing their income, raising awareness about the virus and ensuring hygiene measures are applied.
As the businesses behind the joint venture explain, while the chocolate industry traditionally approaches sustainability through increasing productivity, Cacao-Trace sets itself apart from other cocoa sourcing initiatives as it focuses on taste improvement, creating extra value for the farmers. In today’s difficult times, Belcolade & Puratos are even more aware of the challenges facing the farmer community and are committed to supporting them in the best way possible. The close relationships the programme has developed on the ground have allowed the companies to identify where it can make the biggest impact on the farmers’ current situation.
Among the initiative’s core principles is a commitment to maintain the cacao sourcing volume commitment, despite the expected decrease in volume sold due to Covid-19. It is crucial that this vital source of income for the farmer community is guaranteed. Therefore, all post-harvest fermentation centres remain open. There, Cacao-Trace farmers receive their quality premium upon delivery of their beans like it is the case usually. The work on the cocoa plantations is allowed to continue safely as social distancing can easily be applied, and the risk of spreading the virus while working there is very low.
It also intended to keep the Chocolate Bonus at the same level as 2019. The shared value of the premium quality cocoa beans goes back to the farmers via the Chocolate Bonus. This is one of the cornerstones of the Cacao-Trace programme and will remain unchanged. Puratos is committed to providing all farmers with protective masks, soaps and buckets for handwashing in the fight against coronavirus.
The strong local networks in the different sourcing countries are an effective channel to provide people with the correct information about how to fight the virus. By taking these actions, Belcolade & Puratos strive to protect their community of farmers and fermenters across the world. This dialogue will be continued to determine the following actions to take and provide medication, food and financial support according to the needs of each and every community. These additional measures towards farmers will be financed by Puratos through the Next Generation Cacao Foundation.
Speaking on the scheme, Nebie Adama, a Cacao Trace farmer from the Nero Brousse region, Ivory Coast Supporting frontline workers, said: “Despite the presence of the coronavirus, we can work, harvest and deliver fresh beans to the fermentation center. If the sale and purchase of cocoa were to be suspended, the situation would be unbearable for us. The Cacao-Trace mentors assist and advise us even in our fields and homes. This has allowed our family members to be better informed about the coronavirus. We can say that in addition to the messages broadcast on television and radio, the frequent visits of the Cacao-Trace team allow us to be informed about the evolution of the situation.”