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World Cocoa Foundation announces cocoa sustainability initiative

FBR Staff Writer Published 05 June 2013

The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is investing $3m to support cocoa improvement projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The initiative will use a range of methods including internet resources, mobile phone technology and microfinance to focus on providing cocoa farmers with information to increase the quality and quantity of their cocoa yields.

WCF President Bill Guyton said that these new efforts across the globe by WCF to ensure cocoa sustainability will directly benefit cocoa farmers by the tens of thousands.

"Our commitment to cocoa sustainability is rooted at the source - with farmers, farms, and cocoa communities," Guyton added.

In Africa, WCF announced five initiatives - a new mobile phone based system to provide cocoa farmers with practical information on agricultural practices that can improve quality and quantity of cocoa yields. In Nigeria, WCF announced a new partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to provide assistance to 70,000 cocoa farmers and launched an internet-based technology to provide farmers with resources on good agricultural practices.

In Liberia, WCF project funded by Chevron is focused on increased access to improved planting material and agricultural inputs to increase production and foster economic development in rural areas of the country reaching 1,000 farmers.

In Asia, WCF will partner with ACDI/VOCA to support a project in Indonesia to develop the country's cocoa sector by helping farmers improve their productivity through mobile banking, microfinance loans, and ICT applications. The foundation members Armajaro, Continaf, The Hershey Company, Mars, Mondelez and Olam are supporting the project.

WCF stated that it would conduct its 24th Partnership Meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in Latin America from 15-16 October 2013 where it will assemble a wide range of cocoa sustainability experts from across the world to discuss efforts to improve cocoa livelihoods and ensure a more sustainable approach to cocoa production.

WCF is an international membership foundation of more than 100 companies that promote a sustainable cocoa economy by providing cocoa farmers with the tools to grow more and better cocoa.