By 2025 we will lift more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty.
We can only lift cocoa farmers out of poverty if we pursue nothing less than systemic change in cocoa farming. Systemic change means cocoa farming that is prospering and self-sustaining.
The first step in achieving systemic change is to understand the specificities and needs in order to enable each cocoa farm in our global supply chain to be self-sustaining. This is why in 2017/18 we started the creation of farmer data sets that map, amongst other things, the size of the farm, its soil quality, its productivity, as well as the household it has to support.
We have so far mapped 130,811 cocoa farms in our Katchilè database and will increase this number to half a million by 2025. This database gives us the unprecedented capability to design tailor-made Farm Business Plans for participating cocoa farmers. In 2017/18 208,329 farmers participated in our sustainability programs. Furthermore, 9,486 farmers have a Farm Business Plan.
In addition, we need to understand what self-sustaining cocoa farming looks like in the major cocoa growing countries. This is why in 2017/18 we designed pilot projects in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Brazil and Indonesia. These pilot projects will test the effectiveness of productivity packages, which include measuring the impact of proper pruning techniques, fertilizer packages, designing the diversification of farm income through introduction of alternate crop packages to farmers, and giving the farmers access to innovative financial instruments. Wageningen University & Research, the world’s leading agricultural university, will assess the effectiveness of our interventions in these pilots.
We distributed over 2,1 million young cocoa seedlings for replanting and around 393,000 shade trees.
Cocoa Horizons, as an impact driven sustainability program, ensures that activities are focused on relevant areas and implemented efficiently. In 2017/18 premiums from the purchase of HORIZONS products generated CHF 10.5 million and the program reached more than 70,000 farmers. Farmers participating in Cocoa Horizons have access to coaching, access to a Farmer Business Plan, are supported to access financial services and farm services, and are supported on income diversification activities and women empowerment. All of the above will ensure that cocoa farming again becomes a profitable business.
Creating the movement
Systemic change to cocoa farming requires support from the governments of cocoa growing countries. In fiscal year 2017/18, we partnered with the Ivorian government and the Ghanaian government, signing two letters of intent on sustainable cocoa farming. The purpose of the letters of intent is to encourage the signatories to work collaboratively towards the design and validation of a sustainable cocoa farming model, with a specific focus on the clearing and re-planting of cocoa trees infected with the swollen-shoot virus (CSSV) disease. Also, the cooperation will include agroforestry, more specifically income diversification for cocoa farmers and the planting of shade trees. This is a great example of the movement required to make sustainable chocolate the norm, creating models of farming that positively impact farmers livelihoods.
Our measured impact
In 2017/18, 12,395 farmers (+113%) in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, Brazil and Indonesia participated in our Farm Services business, and received coaching and other inputs such as tools and seedlings or support to access finance. We supported cocoa farmers in replanting 281 hectares (+60%) with young cocoa trees, as well as other crops that provide shade, and help cocoa farmers diversify their income. After the +23% increase in productivity measured in 2016/17, we did not see a significant increase in productivity with Ivorian cocoa farmers participating in our Farm Services business compared to the control group in 2017/18. This is partly due to young cocoa trees only starting to positively impact cocoa farmer productivity once they start to grow cocoa pods after 4–5 years. In addition, productivity was negatively impacted by our decision to not include relatively costly fertilizer in the Farm Services package in order to avoid creating additional costs for the cocoa farmer which, due to the low cocoa bean prices, could not be recuperated.
Based on the World Bank threshold for extreme poverty, USD 1.90/day, we estimate as a baseline that in 2017/18 169,460 cocoa farmers in our supply chain are out of poverty.
Number of cocoa farmers lifted out of poverty, measured against the World Bank's USD 1.90/day threshold for extreme poverty
Number cocoa farmers who have access to coaching, inputs such as tools and seedlings, or finance
No measurable productivity improvement per hectare of these farmers in 2017/2018
Number of hectares cocoa replanted
Our commitment to the UN SDGs
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) consist of 17 goals to transform our world. We have selected for each of our targets the corresponding SDG to highlight how Forever Chocolate fits into the global agenda to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.
Professionalizing cocoa farming
In 2017/18 we designed pilot projects in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Brazil and Indonesia to test the effectiveness of productivity packages, which include measuring the impact of proper pruning techniques, fertilizer packages, designing the diversification of farm income through introduction of alternate crop packages to farmers, and giving the farmers access to innovative financial instruments.
Sustainable vanilla supply
In 2016, Barry Callebaut partnered with Prova, the world’s leading exporter of vanilla, to secure a sustainable vanilla supply. Now, in 2018, not only have we received the first 100% traceable vanilla from Madagascan farmers, we are also working to improve vanilla farmer livelihoods by diversifying farmers income with cocoa.
This year we began our pilot projects in five key cocoa sourcing countries Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Brazil and Indonesia. Through these pilots we want to verify if our approach is replicable, scalable and eventually leads to farmers’ self-sustenance.