Empowering cocoa farmers through certification - premium payments continue to improve livelihoods in cocoa communities

- $19 million paid to farmers during 2014 brings total to $44 million under the Cargill Cocoa Promise

- Premiums paid for certified products by cocoa & chocolate food manufacturers and retailers

- Payments are increasing farmer incomes and supporting farm development, education and healthcare in local communities

Aug 11, 2015, 10:41 ET from Cargill

SCHIPHOL, The Netherlands, Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Premium payments for certified sustainable cocoa are continuing to make a significant contribution to improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities, as well as meeting the growing demand for sustainably sourced cocoa and chocolate.

A total of $19 million was paid to farmers in Cote d'Ivoire, Brazil, Cameroon, Ghana and Indonesia in 2014, bringing the total to $44 million paid to date under the Cargill Cocoa Promise. The premiums, which are achieved by farmers for selling their UTZ, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade certified cocoa beans, are funded by confectionery and food manufacturers and retailers and are positively supporting the ongoing development of a sustainable cocoa supply chain.

"Premium payments and cocoa certification remain a valuable catalyst in making progress toward a sustainable cocoa supply chain," said Taco Terheijden, Director Cocoa Sustainability at Cargill. "We are proud to be part of this process and to see the positive developments in the sector. Not only are cocoa farmers and their communities benefitting from higher incomes and better health and education, at the same time manufacturers, retailers and consumers can be confident about where their cocoa is coming from and how it is being produced."

The premium payments are made to certified farmer cooperatives with 50 percent going directly to individual farmer members, and the remainder being invested in projects by the farmer organization to boost productivity, farm development and benefit the community. The premiums are an incentive to adopt good agricultural practices and directly support improvements to make a positive difference to local communities.

Through its on-the-ground network and long-term personal relationships with cooperatives, Cargill is able to track in full detail how these premiums are distributed and how farmer organizations decide to invest their funds. Recent information shows these are being invested in:

  • Strengthening farmer cooperative by providing crop financing, developing buildings, improving logistics, employee health and safety, certification activities
  • Community projects such as schools and education, healthcare and road rehabilitation
  • Farmer services, such farm development, crop protection, fertilizer distribution

In Cote d'Ivoire, a first of its kind public-private partnership between the Conseil du Cafe-Cacoa, Cargill and CARE has enabled 14 farmer cooperatives to use their premium payments to access additional funding to build 11 new schools and three new health centers teaching over 1,650 children and providing access to healthcare for 25,000 people.

"Farmer organizations play a critical role in improving farmer livelihoods and the living standards of local communities, as well as supporting the long-term future of sustainable cocoa," Terheijden said. "Our insights prove that premiums paid directly to farmer organizations play a critical role for these organizations to take their destiny in their own hands. While we continue to see a growing demand for sustainable cocoa from our customers it is essential that we share the impact these premiums are making."

Notes for editors: 

About Cargill
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 153,000 employees in 67 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.

About Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate offers its customers quality products and services they trust to help them thrive, today and in the future.

We consistently deliver a wide range of products –including cocoa powder, liquor and butter, chocolates, fillings and coatings –to help customers stand out from the crowd. Cargill offers peace of mind in the short- and long-term: day-to-day we work to the highest safety standards and offer insight-driven price risk management and sustainable cocoa services.

For recipe development and optimization, we have seven specialized application centres around the world. Our innovation support and consistent performance make us a proactive partner in all major consumer markets. Cargill customers also benefit from our bean sourcing and research capabilities in key origin countries, including Brazil, Cameroon, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, and Indonesia.

With a team of 2,700 passionate cocoa and chocolate experts in 35 locations, connected to over 142,000 Cargill employees around the globe, we provide unique knowledge and proactive service across five continents, built on a foundation of 150 years of experience.

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SOURCE Cargill