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Barry Callebaut’s new report highlights sustainable cocoa farming practices


November 28, 2013
By Bakers Journal

Nov. 28, 2013, Zurich, Switzerland – Barry Callebaut outlined the company’s strategy for sustainable cocoa, environmental protection and employee development in a new report.

"With a growing global demand for chocolate, a sustainable cocoa supply chain is vital for long-term business growth," said Juergen Steinemann, Barry Callebaut’s CEO, in a press release. "In order to ensure sufficient cocoa production for years to come, we have embedded sustainability into our corporate strategy."

As outlined in the 2012-13 Sustainability Report, Barry Callebaut has identified three main challenges to sustainable cocoa farming:

· Need for farmer training in good agricultural practices to improve crop productivity and farmer income
· Lack of adequate plant materials, fertilizers and pesticides available to farmers

· Insufficient farmer access to funds to invest in pesticides, fertilizers and yield-enhancing practices 


To address the gaps in knowledge, materials and funding, the report documents the various elements of the company's global sustainability initiative, Cocoa Horizons. Established in 2012, the program was built upon three key pillars to improve cocoa sustainability: farmer practices, education and health.

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Farmer Practices
Improving farmer practices through training is at the heart of Cocoa Horizons. According to the release, Barry Callebaut’s main goal to train farmers to better agricultural practices. This is designed to increase yields, farmer incomes, and lead to more productive cocoa trees.

The report highlights the opening of a new Cocoa Center of Excellence in Pacobo, Côte d'Ivoire, to equip farmers with practical know-how. The centre, which opened in July, provides training in good agricultural practices, post-harvest management techniques, optimal use of inputs, crop diversification, farm rehabilitation and grafting, and basic business skills.

Approximately 300 managers of cocoa cooperatives will receive training during the centre's first year of operation. Once qualified, those farmers will share knowledge with two additional Barry Callebaut farmer academies, then 12 model farms, and eventually to 575 field schools across Côte d'Ivoire. This cascade approach was designed to provide advanced training to farmers in even some of the most remote areas of Africa. To date, 110,000 farmers across Africa have received training.

Farmer Education and Health

In addition to farmer training, Cocoa Horizons has community programs that are designed to improve access to primary education for children of farm workers in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon and Brazil.

These programs also provide cocoa curriculum; contribute to educational infrastructure; and support literacy, life skills and vocational training.
Cocoa Horizons also addresses basic health needs of farmers in remote cocoa farming regions. Barry Callebaut works with its partner cooperatives, and the communities themselves, to provide access to potable water.
The report also presents Barry Callebaut's sustainability strategy for environmental protection and employee development.

For more information on the report, visit Barry Callebaut’s website .

Barry Callebaut has also completed the move of its Japan chocolate factory from Amagasaki to Takasaki.

The new and larger facility offers an initial annual production capacity of 22,000 tonnes of chocolate and compound products.
In 2012, Japan’s chocolate consumption of 1.84 kg per capita was the largest in Asia, reported the company release.

Barry Callebaut now operates five cocoa bean processing factories, four chocolate factories, four R&D centres and three chocolate academy centres across the Asia-Pacific region.