Bakers Journal

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Cargill receives first UTZ certified chocolate liquor


June 6, 2011
By Bakers Journal

June 6, 2011, Lititz, PA – Cargill has received its first North American shipment of UTZ certified chocolate liquor.

The goals of UTZ certification include: increasing farmers' professionalism to achieve sustainable agricultural supply chains; encouraging the food industry to take responsibility for sourcing sustainably grown products; and assuring consumers their food has been produced in socially and environmentally responsible ways.

The farmers producing the liquor also participated in Cargill’s 10-month Farmer Field School. During the program, farmers are trained in safety and good agricultural practices, focusing on farming techniques and post-harvest activities such as pruning, plantation renewal and cocoa fermentation methods.

Since participating in the training, the farmers experienced a reported 30 per cent increase in their incomes, on average, due to higher yields and improved crop quality.

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“We believe training farmers to increase yields, improve quality and adopt more sustainable practices can directly contribute to increased earnings for cocoa farmers,” said Don Pearson, president of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate North America. “While increases for each farmer may vary depending on the market prices, quality and yields, farmers who adopt better farming practices are benefiting from higher incomes, as well as improving their long-term success.”

The Farmer Field School program also stresses broader social issues, such as the importance of ensuring childhood education and HIV awareness.

The UTZ certification program was co-founded by Cargill, Dutch development organization Solidaridad and a multi-stakeholder group from the cocoa sector.