4 min read

Improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers

Back

Within our cocoa supply chain, in March 2018, Ferrero received the Fairtrade Germany Award for our long-term partnership with Fairtrade and cooperative union ECOOKIM. Through this collaboration and many more activities within Ferrero’s cocoa sustainability program, Ferrero aims at improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and offering future perspectives as well as at protecting and restoring the forests. At the same time, we get closer to fulfilling our promise to source 100% sustainable cocoa beans for all Ferrero products by the end of 2020. 

“I grow 1.6 hectares of cocoa. I joined the cooperative in 2014. Before, I produced 450 Kilograms of cocoa per year. Now, since I started applying good agricultural practices and my field is well kept, I grow more. I won our local competition for 2018-2019, growing 950 kilograms!. With the knowledge that I have now, I have more than doubled my harvest, which gives me over 300,000 CFA francs more this year. I bought a bike to facilitate my trips."

Momboye Célestin, a member of the cooperative Soutra in Côte d'Ivoire

Training farmers for sustainable cocoa production as an essential point

Momboye Célestin’s cooperative is part of EKOOKIM, a union of cocoa farmers that democratically decides at the end of each cocoa season how the certification premium they receive from Ferrero is used. Training farmers for sustainable cocoa production always comes up as an essential point, with investments in recruiting technicians for trainings on good agricultural and environmental practices. These trainings happen on the field – in Farmer Field Schools – and off the field to raise awareness among communities on good social and environmental practices.

In addition to trainings, EKOOKIM provides farmers with inputs such as fertilizers and cocoa seedlings, and the cooperative union has a team of trained experts in the application of crop protection products. Thanks to all these efforts, farmers have seen significant increases in yield and income.

Nana Sakre, farmer at Coopasid manages 8,500 hectares. “I produce a lot of compost in my field, that I then apply. In 2015, I produced 4,500 kg but for the current season I produced 6,497 kg. With this money I set up a shop that allows me to diversify my sources of income. My plan for next year is to build my house.”

 

Training farmers for sustainable cocoa production
Promoting child development and empowering women

As the cooperatives become more mature and professionalized, the premium use is changing. The amount invested in community projects is increasing significantly. These include promoting child development and empowering women, which is essential to build strong and resilient farmer communities. By helping communities produce ‘more cocoa on less land’, cocoa and chocolate companies help reduce the incentive for farmers to encroach on protected forests.