Cargill's premium boost farmers' incomes in West Africa
Cargill's cocoa and chocolate business has made the second of its annual sustainable certified cocoa premium payments which total over $2.2 million, to 26,500 farmers across 21 cooperatives in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa.
The substantial payments mark another step in Cargill's commitment to build a sustainable cocoa supply chain and support cocoa farmers.
More than 50% of the payments go directly to farmers with the remainder used by cooperatives to provide assistance to their members and to build local community facilities.
These latest payments follow the first sustainable premiums paid by Cargill to farmers last year.
Farmers are receiving the premium payment for the delivery of 20,000 tons of UTZ Certified and Rainforest Alliance cocoa between October 2010 and May 2011, which represents approximately 10% of Cargill's total bean sourcing in Côte d'Ivoire.
The cooperatives obtained certification following participation in Cargill's farmer training programme for certified cocoa in 500 Farmer Field Schools across the cocoa growing regions.
"The majority of the premium we receive is used for resources that benefit our community. For example, we have previously used the premium to build schools and a maternity clinic. In this way we ensure that the whole community shares in and benefits from these payments," says Kouakou Jacques, president of the Fiédifoué Cooperative.
The 21 cooperatives which received the premium were certified in September 2010, through independent third party auditing.
The training is an intensive 10 month programme for cooperatives and their members and has been developed by Cargill's cocoa and chocolate business in partnership with rural development agency Anader.
During the program farmers are trained in good and safe practices focusing on farming techniques and post-harvest activities such as pruning, plantation renewal and cocoa fermentation methods.
In addition the program stresses broader social aspects, such as the importance of ensuring children's education and HIV awareness.
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