Saturday 23 September 2023

Barry Callebaut, the Cocoa Horizons Foundation and Kim’s Chocolates team up to support cocoa farmers

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At a recent ceremony in Tanzania, 130,000 cocoa seedlings were distributed to cocoa farmers, and six new classrooms were donated to local farming communities. This is a special project of the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, whose mission is to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities.

The project is funded by Belgian finest chocolates maker Kim’s Chocolates and implemented by the Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products.

Improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities

Productivity and access to education are both important levers in terms of improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities.  They are instrumental in the fight against poverty, and assist in building stronger, more robust local communities.

Kim’s Chocolates and the Cocoa Horizons Foundation are consolidating their collaboration to support farmers and their communities by increasing the productivity of their cocoa farms and by providing access to education.

In Tanzania, Barry Callebaut’s direct sourcing and farm services organization, Biolands, works directly with farmers, ensuring close relationships to effectively implement sustainability programs.

“We are very proud of this program with Kim’s Chocolates, which is a proof point of the great work that Barry Callebaut delivers for its customers and partners,” says Anke Massart, Business Development Manager for Sustainable Cocoa at Barry Callebaut.

“Via the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, we continue to scale impact and drive change to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities, with the support of the local government and communities, and in close partnership with our customers.”

Increasing the productivity of cocoa farms with new planting material

In the presence of members of the Kyela district authorities and community members, 130,000 cocoa seedlings were distributed to 240 selected cocoa farmers to replace their aging trees. More vigorous trees will give higher yields and improve the income and livelihoods of the cocoa farmers. More than 100,000 seedlings will be distributed each year.

In parallel, the project partners have established a training program to share technical knowledge and good agricultural practices through a “train the trainer” approach. In the next three years, 45 best practice demonstration plots will be set up to support the training of 4,500 cocoa farmers in Tanzania.

The project partners will also supply the cocoa farmers with tools such as pruning shears and saws to implement their newly acquired knowledge.

Facilitating access to primary education

Kim’s Chocolates program “Cocoa for Schools” focuses on the cocoa growing districts of Tanzania. The six new classrooms are located in Lubele and Lubaga, near Kyela, and are benefitting 966 children. The 100 villages around Lake Nyasa account for more than 55,000 pupils.

“This is not a feel-good action. It’s an initiative that will make a substantial difference to the farming community” says Fons Maex, CEO of Kim’s Chocolates.

“Kim’s Chocolates aims to finish 130 classrooms and renovate 50, with many more to come in the long term. This will be done in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations, customers, the local industry and the villagers themselves.

By working both on education and on productivity, we are acting on two crucial levers to combat poverty among cocoa farmers.”

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