WEST AFRICA – Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate has reiterated its commitment to work closely with cocoa regulators and other stakeholders in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to ensure a long term and sustainable impact for farmers and the cocoa sector.
The multinational agribusiness and food giant said that it will continue to support the countries’ ambitions of improving cocoa farmers’ income and ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector, reports Ghana News Agency.
This comes at a time when the governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire announced the introduction of a set floor price for cocoa exports, which Cargil said in a statement that it is committed to achieve fundamental positive changes in the sector.
“At Cargill, we share the ambition of the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to improve cocoa farmers’ income and ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector.
“We applaud the willingness of both governments to set a minimum floor price for cocoa beans and affirm our commitment to do more to ensure that this measure leads to sustainable increases in farmers’ incomes,” the company said.
“We look forward to working closely with the COCOBOD and Conseil Café Cacao to achieve fundamental positive changes in the cocoa sector,” the company said.
The company noted that under its ‘Cargill Cocoa Promise’ programme, the company has helped farmers become true entrepreneurs, maximize their profitability, better manage their operations and earn a decent income.
“We work with governments, a number of partners, as well as farmers and farmers’ organizations to increase their productivity, profitability and resilience.
“We continue to expand and deepen our programs so that farmers have the know-how and tools they need to act as a business leader and to plan for long-term sustainability of the sector.
“Our vision is for a thriving cocoa sector for the benefit of future generations: a system that will enable cocoa farmers and communities to flourish, while ensuring long-term commercial success” the company said in a statement.
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire last month announced plans to set a minimum price to be paid by global buyers of cocoa from these two countries beginning the 2020/2021 cocoa season.
The decision has also received support from the US based confectionary maker, Mars Inc with John Ament, Global Vice President of Cocoa for Mars saying that cocoa farmers should earn ‘sufficient income to maintain a decent standard of living.’
“We support moves by governments to intervene to achieve a higher price that leads to a sustainable increase paid to the farmer and is supported with governance to ensure there is no further expansion of land use to grow cocoa,” Ament said.
Mars said Ivory Coast and Ghana are crucial sources of cocoa for its business. Industrial analysis estimate that the company uses around 430,000 tonnes of West African cocoa and cocoa derivatives annually.