KILCHBERG, Switzerland, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Lindt & Sprungli is substantially up-scaling and extending its farming program in Ghana. Until 2016, more than 45,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana will receive additional support in improving their agricultural, social and environmental farming practices aiming at more than doubling productivity yield and increasing farm family income considerably.
The Lindt & Sprungli farming program will include the introduction of a detailed farm mapping, a complete farmer professionalization training package and improved planting material through farmer-led nurseries. Demonstration plots support the farmer capacity building purpose. The farmers will have access to credit for necessary planting appliances in newly set up farm shops. In each district, if not already in place, a Village Resource Centre will be installed. In 2012 already 8,000 farmers benefited from a pilot program, followed by 15,000 farmers joining the program in the season 2013/2014, with an additional 25,000 farmers to follow over the three subsequent years. By 2016, Lindt & Sprungli plans to have the training program completed for all farmers in Ghana that deliver cocoa in the framework of the special purchasing model of Lindt & Sprungli.
Since 2008, Lindt & Sprungli has been involved in very valuable pioneering work in Ghana and has over the last years continuously built up a traceable cocoa supply chain within an independent purchasing model. Lindt & Sprungli sources 100% of its West African cocoa bean supply from Ghana because of the high quality of cocoa beans in the region. The purchasing model not only guarantees a consistent volume of best quality cocoa beans for Lindt & Sprungli, but through traceability also the opportunity to positively influence local development. Herewith, Lindt & Sprungli provides a fundamental contribution to establishing socially responsible and economically fair conditions for cocoa farmers in Ghana.
Over 15 millions of premiums
By paying a voluntary premium per each ton cocoa beans sourced, Lindt & Sprungli has invested so far over USD 5 million in infrastructure and social projects via the non-profit organization "Source Trust". Measures included for example the reconstruction of a school, the provision of mosquito nets, boreholes for access to clean drinking water, and the installation of so called Village Resource Centers, which got equipped with computers, a printer and internet access and are used by pupils and teachers alike for education, and also by farmers for training purposes.
The project, resulting from the payment of another USD 10 million premiums and initial set-up costs, will be further enhanced to increase young adults and women farmers' access to services, while improving their knowledge and leadership skills. This program is strengthened by an internal monitoring system, which will assist in measuring progress with regards to good agricultural, social, environmental and business practices of farmers, while external audits will enable the progress made to be verified. Lindt & Sprungli confirms to have verified its entire Ghana cocoa beans supply chain by 2016.
Significant income increases
The aim of the Lindt & Sprungli farming program in Ghana is to improve the livelihood of the farmers, their families and the communities they live in, while assuring consistent high quality beans for Lindt & Sprungli.
The program is supported by The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), an organization with the aim of up-scaling and accelerating sustainable trade. IDH is funded at institutional level by the Dutch and Danish government, and by SECO, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. Improving farmers' livelihoods through application of good agricultural practices and improving productivity is fully in line with IDH's vision for the cocoa sector. As explained by Joost Oorthuizen, the executive director of IDH, "We are glad to co-fund the farming program of Lindt & Sprungli as it focusses on training but more importantly on access to planting appliances, this makes the program deliver impact on cocoa production in Ghana." Hans-Peter Egler from SECO agrees: "The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs supports through the IDH the Lindt & Sprungli Farming Program in Ghana in the context of the economic development cooperation. We are convinced that this program is another important step towards improving the economic and social conditions in the Ghana cocoa farming sector."
The up-scaling and extending of the Lindt & Sprungli farming program is done in partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board (government partner), the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (government partner) and Source Trust Ghana (implementation partner).
Lindt & Sprungli Sourcing Strategy
Lindt & Sprungli is one of the few chocolate makers that have complete control over every step of the production chain starting with the selection of the finest cocoa varieties from the best growing areas in the world right on through the careful and expert processing until ending with the elegant packaging. To safeguard the uniform and consistently high quality of all Lindt & Sprungli chocolate products, all ingredients are thoroughly tested in owned laboratories before and after purchase, so that their quality constantly meets the highest standards. Prudent and conscientious relations with the environment and with the communities in which we live and work are important to Lindt & Sprungli and anchored in the Company Credo. In the procurement of Lindt & Sprungli's raw materials, great importance is therefore attached to compliance with the rules of sustainable conduct. This includes respect for social aspects, such as working conditions and incomes of farmers in the growing countries, support and promotion of environmentally friendly production conditions, and payment of fair prices for raw materials which satisfy Lindt & Sprungli's stringent quality criteria.
Pictures: www.photopress.ch ->Lindt & Sprungli -> Farming Program Ghana
Video: The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH): http://www.idhsustainabletrade.com/cacao-news/lindt--sprungli-and-idh
Relevant Links: Lindt & Sprungli Corporate Social Responsibility: http://www.lindt.com/noswf/eng/company/social-responsibility/
Source Trust: http://www.sourcetrust.org/supporters/lindt/index.html
About Lindt & Sprungli: Lindt & Sprungli is the worldwide leader in the premium chocolate segment and was founded more than 165 years ago in Zurich. Lindt & Sprungli quality chocolate is manufactured in eight own production facilities in Europe and the US and is sold by 20 own subsidiaries as well as a widespread network of independent distributors around the world. The Lindt & Sprungli Group employs more than 8100 people and achieved sales of 2.67 billion Swiss francs in 2012.
SOURCE Lindt & Sprungli