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Barry Callebaut launches $43m cocoa sustainability initiative

FBR Staff Writer Published 16 March 2012

Barry Callebaut, the Switzerland-based manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, has launched a CHF40m ($43.11m) cocoa sustainability initiative to boost farm productivity in key cocoa producing countries in West and Central Africa and Indonesia over the next 10 years.

In the fiscal year 2011/2012, the company will invest CHF5m ($5.38m) in farmer training, infrastructure and community education and health programs.

The new initiative called 'Cocoa Horizons' features three objectives - improve farmer practices to boost farm productivity and cocoa quality through training programs; improve access to education in cocoa farming communities; and improve access to basic health care and clean water in cocoa farming communities.

Barry Callebaut will focus first on large producer countries including Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, Cameroon and Brazil, and aims to expand the initiative to other cocoa producing countries with high development potential over the coming years.

Barry Callebaut CEO Juergen B Steinemann said that innovative and comprehensive solutions are urgently needed to reverse the overall decline in global cocoa production.

"We've therefore made sustainable cocoa a pillar of our company's ambitious growth strategy, and accelerated our longtime efforts to ensure sustainable cocoa production," Steinemann added.

The new initiative builds on Barry Callebaut's Quality Partner Program (QPP) for cocoa farmer cooperatives, which was launched in 2005. The program is currently engaging more than 40,000 farmers in Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon, the company said.