Bakers Journal

News
Barry Callebaut’s community efforts quantified


March 9, 2016
By Laura Aiken
Photo credit: Barry Callebaut

International – Rural cocoa communities often lack basic infrastructure and services, including access to water, basic healthcare, and schools.
“Alongside our aim to improve cocoa farming, we work with communities and farmer groups to ascertain needs and focus on four key areas: education, child protection, women’s empowerment, and health,” said Marina Morari, general manager of community development for Barry Callebaut in a news release. “In fiscal year 2014/2015, our community activities reached 56,300 people.”

Education

Barry Callebaut contributed to educational infrastructure in communities where facilities were inadequate. This included building and furnishing classrooms and school canteens, building separate latrines for boys and girls, providing solar panels for lighting, and building teacher housing. In total, 3,750 children have benefited. Since 2011, the company has funded 10 school infrastructure projects in several cocoa-growing regions of Côte d’Ivoire, helping 1,800 children. In 2014/2015, Barry Callebaut built two fully equipped primary schools to benefit 600 children annually. 

Child protection

Barry Callebaut worked with field experts of the International Cocoa Initiative to provide training and raise awareness about child labour issues. The company addressed Barry Callebaut personnel, as well as the management and administrative staff at farmer organizations. In 2014/2015, Barry Callebaut provided training to raise awareness about child labour issues to 46 cooperative administrators, as well as farmers and community members. In addition, the Cocoa Horizons Truck has brought child labour sensitization to 37,200 villagers. 

Women’s empowerment

In 2014/2015, Barry Callebaut continued its women’s agroforestry training program in collaboration with IDH, a sustainable trade initiative. A total of 34 women are participating in the three-year program that comprises training, assistance in planting a diversified plot of land, and coaching.
Through a joint program with the World Cocoa Foundation, 54 women from 54 cooperatives participated in leadership training. In addition, 200 women from two cooperatives are participating in a three-year agricultural and entrepreneurship training program for female farmers.

Health

Barry Callebaut worked with communities to provide boreholes and pumps in schools, and distribute water filters to households, schools, and medical clinics in remote areas. In 2014/2015, the company distributed 1,276 family filters and 75 community filters to benefit more than 12,000 people. The company also provided WASH training (WAter, Sanitation, Hygiene) to each recipient of a water filter. In addition, Barry Callebaut helped improve farmer access to basic health care, including health insurance, vaccination campaigns, and free medical checkups. To date, the Cocoa Horizons truck has provided medical attention to more than 10,000 villagers.