Cargill has doubled the amount of sustainable cocoa it has sourced in Ghana since the creation of its own licenced buying company (LBC).
According to a company release, over 13,000 cocoa farmers are now benefiting from the initiative – up by 30% from 10,000 a year ago.
The figures have been published as Cargill makes its second sustainable premium payment of $870,000 to farmers since establishing its own direct sourcing model in 2016.
These premium payments currently represent the highest payments paid per bag of certified cocoa in the industry for the 2017/2018 crop season in Ghana.
Under the LBC model, Cargill sources and purchases cocoa directly from certified farmers, building stronger relationships both with them and their communities.
Approximately half of the sustainable premium payments are used directly by the farmers to increase productivity and invested in a range of projects such as crop financing and protection, distribution of fertilizer and improving logistics and infrastructure.
The other half is used by the wider community to support education, healthcare and women empowerment initiatives, making a significant contribution to improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities, complementing other community projects undertaken through the Cargill Cocoa Promise.
“Direct sourcing puts cocoa farmers at the heart of our business and it means Cargill has become the partner of choice for cocoa farmers in Ghana,” says Pieter Reichert, MD of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in Ghana.
“Farmers are recognizing that, as well as a higher income, our approach offers them a wide range of support services to help them improve the quality and quantity of cocoa beans produced. Such services, delivered under our Cargill Cocoa Promise, include one-on-one agricultural coaching, farmer field schools, high quality seedlings and resources for pest and disease management.
“The model benefits everyone in the supply chain – farmers, who livelihoods improve and Cargill and our customers, who have access to more certified cocoa.”
Unusually for the Ghanaian market, the LBC is fully e-money enabled. This allows Cargill to pay farmers directly by electronic transfer, ensuring the money reaches the grower swiftly, safely and accurately.