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Cargill launches sustainable cocoa program in Indonesia

FBR Staff Writer Published 19 October 2012

American agribusiness company Cargill has extended its sustainable cocoa program to South Sulawesi province, Indonesia, as a part of its strategy to develop sustainable cocoa production and increase the yields of farmers in the country.

Cargill noted that this initiative will enable it to strengthen cocoa operations in Indonesia - the world's third largest producer of cocoa beans, in order to help address the increasing demand for cocoa across Asia.

The introduction of this program in Indonesia follows the company's activities to develop sustainable cocoa supply chains in Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Ghana, Brazil and Vietnam.

The first step in the program will include setting up of Farmer Field Schools, which will teach farmers good agricultural practices to help increase yields, improve the quality of cocoa, and increase their incomes. The schools will also train the farmers on pest and disease control - an important aspect as an estimated 50% of the cocoa crop in Indonesia is lost to pests and diseases, the company said.

Cargill initially plans to train 1,000 farmers to reach independent sustainable certification for either UTZ or Rainforest Alliance certification. The program will also establish farmers' organisations, which will play an important role in the administration and certification of the cocoa crops and also

These organizations will enable the farmers to share their expertise, while providing an outlet to sell their crop at the best possible price.

Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, Sustainable Cocoa manager Taco Terheijden said the programme will improve farmers' productivity and bean quality, which will in turn increase the profitability and improve the living standards for farmers and their families.

"At the same time it helps to realise our goal to develop a sustainable cocoa supply chain and improve the quality of cocoa for our customers," Terheijden added.