Bakers Journal

Barry Callebaut takes over remaining 51% of Biolands

February 24, 2014
By Bakers Journal

Feb. 24, 2014, International – The Biolands Group, a
certified bean supplier comprising Biolands International in Tanzania,
Bio-United in Sierra Leone and Biopartenaire in Côte d'Ivoire, is now fully
owned by Barry Callebaut.

Barry Callebaut has held a 49 per cent stake in Biolands
since 2008 and purchased all of its certified cocoa since 2000. Biolands Group
is one of Africa's largest exporter of certified organic cocoa, working
directly with about 70,000 farmers.


With the complete takeover of the Biolands Group, 143
full-time employees have joined the Barry Callebaut Group.

"The complete takeover of Biolands brings Barry
Callebaut even closer to thousands of farmers committed to sustainable cocoa
production," said Daudi Lelijveld, vice president Sustainable Cocoa, in a
media release. "Biolands has championed quality cocoa, transparent pricing
and fair business practices since it first started working with cocoa farmers
in Tanzania more than 13 years ago. We look forward to accelerating our work
together with farmers to identify pragmatic and scalable solutions to address
the gaps in knowledge, materials and financing which today limit the ability of
farmers throughout Africa to realize productivity gains and improve

The Biolands acquisition fits well with Barry Callebaut's
overall corporate strategy to become a leader in sustainable cocoa, and gain
access to individual farmers in addition to cooperatives. In March 2012, Barry
Callebaut launched "Cocoa Horizons", a CHF 40 million cocoa
sustainability initiative to boost farm productivity, increase quality and
improve family livelihoods in key cocoa producing countries in Africa and Asia
over the next 10 years. The Initiative builds upon Barry Callebaut's own
Quality Partner Program (QPP), which was launched in 2005.

Biolands is one of the largest certified organic smallholder
cocoa programs in the world. Launched in Tanzania in 1999, Biolands has applied
a bottom-up cooperation model, working directly with smallholder farmers to
ensure fair prices are paid to the farmers and to improve the quality of cocoa
and the farmers' quality of life. This farmer-centric, village-to-port approach
guarantees full traceability for every bag of cocoa sold by the 23,000 farmers
participating in Tanzania, giving consumers security in knowing this cocoa has
been produced in a sustainable and responsible manner. Biolands also supports
local cocoa communities. Since starting training and providing support for the
farmers in Tanzania in 1999, the production in the area has nearly doubled from
4,500 tonnes in 2002 to 8,000 tonnes today. In 2013, the company provided four
primary and two secondary schools with classrooms, desks, teacher rooms and
toilets. It also supplied 15,356 books to 24 primary schools.

Participating farmers are offered training on good
agricultural practices and proper post-harvest management techniques to produce
good quality cocoa. Training also addresses labour practices, health and
safety, environmental protection, and other sustainability topics. In 2008 the
successful Biolands model was replicated to include 33,000 farmers in Sierra
Leone, and in 2010 some 17,000 farmers in Côte d'Ivoire. In the past two years,
all three country programs have been certified by The Rainforest Alliance, UTZ
Certified or both.

"Barry Callebaut has many years of experience
working with farmer cooperatives while Biolands has focused on independent
farmers not affiliated with a farmer group," Lelijveld added. "Both
approaches have shown they can deliver benefits to smallholders including
improving access to agricultural training, inputs and services, and ensuring
fair and timely payments. In 2013, we trained 110,000 cocoa farmers globally
across both Cocoa Horizons and Biolands. We will continue to support both of
these approaches depending on the needs and interests of farming




Print this page


Stories continue below


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *