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Cargill achieves major landmark in sustainable cocoa development in Vietnam

FBR Staff Writer Published 23 February 2011

Cargill has delivered the first UTZ Certified beans produced in Vietnam to its buying station in Chau Thanh district, Ben Tre province, as part of its cocoa and chocolate business' commitment to develop new sustainable cocoa economies. This marks reaching a major milestone in making Vietnam as a sustainable cocoa producer.

The companyhas been working in Vietnam, along with the Vietnamese and Dutch governments and North American confectioner Mars, since 2004, to help Vietnam develop its cocoa sector and produce sustainable cocoa beans to meet the growing demand for certified sustainable chocolate.

Cargill supported construction of seedling houses and built buying stations close to the cocoa growing areas, providing easier access to the market for farmers, as part of this development.

The company has also introduced its farmer training program to Vietnam, which to date has trained 12,000 farmers.

As a result of these initiatives Vietnam's total cocoa crop has grown from less than 20 metric tonnes per year to a projected 2,500 metric tonnes by the end of 2011.

Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate cocoa managing director Harold Poelma said the delivery of the first UTZ Certified beans produced in Vietnam, from the first three certified cooperatives, is an important milestone in Vietnam's development as a producer of high quality cocoa beans - and in particular of certified sustainable beans.

"We are looking forward to the certification of more cooperatives in Vietnam, which will enable us to scale up the production of sustainable cocoa in the years ahead and increase the choice that we can offer our customers," Poelma added.

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries.