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August 23, 2011
WORMER, The NetherlandsCargill announced its cocoa and chocolate business has made the second of its annual sustainable certified cocoa premium payments, totaling over U.S. $2.2 million, to 26,500 farmers across 21 cooperatives in the Ivory Coast.
Farmers are receiving the premium payment for the delivery of 20,000 tons of UTZ Certified and Rainforest Alliance cocoa between October 2010 and May 2011. This represents approximately 10 per cent of Cargills total bean sourcing in the Ivory Coast. The cooperatives obtained certification following participation in Cargills farmer training program for certified cocoa in 500 Farmer Field Schools across the cocoa growing regions.
Kouakou Jacques, president of the Fiédifoué Cooperative explains: The majority of the premium we receive is used for resources that benefit our community. For example, we have previously used the premium to build schools and a maternity clinic. In this way we ensure that the whole community shares in and benefits from these payments."
The 21 cooperatives that received the premium were certified in September 2010, through independent third party auditing. In addition to the 21 cooperatives now certified, 20 others are expected to receive certification before the start of the next crop season, with a further 30 cooperatives set to join the program in October 2011.
During the program farmers are trained in good and safe practices focusing on farming techniques and post-harvest activities such as pruning, plantation renewal and cocoa fermentation methods. In addition the program also stresses broader social aspects, such as the importance of ensuring childrens education and HIV awareness.
Harold Poelma, Managing Director Cocoa, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate said: We are pleased that with our support farmers and local communities in Côte dIvoire are benefiting from these premiums. The premiums are a clear indication that farmers are adopting more sustainable practices and that the availability of sustainable beans, and cocoa products, for our customers continues to grow. These premiums recognize the hard work undertaken by farmers and prove our commitment to sustainable cocoa production and improving incomes for farmers. We are continuing to work closely with them to reach our target of 100,000 tons of certified sustainable cocoa beans from Côte dIvoire by 2015."
As a result of its success in the Ivory Coast, Cargill has intensified its farmer training program in Vietnam, and recently announced the expansion of the program to Cameroon.
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