Sustainable cocoa farming: Barry Callebaut intensifies cooperation with Ghana and Ivory Coast authorities


06 Jun 2018 --- Barry Callebaut has joined forces with cocoa authorities in Ghana and the Ivory Coast to clear and replant trees infected with the swollen-shoot virus (CSSV) disease. The move comes as part of a more comprehensive project working towards a model for sustainable cocoa farming. The manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products has signed letters of intent with both the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and the Coffee Caco Council of Côte d’Ivoire (Conseil Café Cacao).

Eradicating child labor and supporting women and young cocoa farmers are also significant focuses of the collaboration in both countries. 

“This letter of intent is an important step towards the design of a new model for sustainable cocoa farming. Combining the expertise and resources on the ground of both the COCOBOD and Barry Callebaut will lead to more impactful interventions and accelerate the progress towards a sustainable cocoa farming sector in Ghana, the second largest cocoa producer in the world,” says Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut.

Also, the cooperation in both countries will include agroforestry, more specifically income diversification for cocoa farmers and the planting of shade trees.

Click to Enlarge
Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut (left) &
Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive COCOBOD (right)

And all parties will intensify cooperation on community-led engagement towards the “eradication of the worst forms of child labor,” according to Barry Callebaut.

“Ensuring the coexistence of cocoa farming with the protection of our country’s classified forests is a high priority for the Ivorian government, as is also exemplified by the Cocoa and Forests Initiative Framework for Action,” says Alain Richard Donwahi, Minister of Waters and Forests Côte d’Ivoire. 

“The letter of intent cements the strategic partnership between government and industry required to make this coexistence happen.”

Clearing CSSV infected cocoa trees and replanting cleared areas with young cocoa trees, shade trees and additional crops, will sustain and diversify farmer incomes. 

The swollen shoot virus decreases cacao yield within the first year of infection and usually kills the tree within a few years. 

“Through the clearing of CSSV infected cocoa trees, we have the opportunity to ensure a sustainable cocoa farming model in Ghana further. And while exploring agroforestry at the same time, by replanting the cleared areas with young cocoa trees, shade trees and additional crops to diversify the income of Ghanaian cocoa farmers,” says Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive COCOBOD.

The initial outcomes of the collaborations are expected to be presented early next year.

In January, the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa was launched with Barry Callebaut as one of the founding members. This platform will play an essential role in creating the market pull for sustainably sourced cocoa and includes 41 players from the Swiss cocoa industry who have joined together to form the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa.

The platform members have agreed on the goal that by 2025, at least 80 percent of the cocoa-containing products imported into Switzerland should come from sustainable cultivation. 

In addition to Barry Callebaut, the founding members include the industry association CHOCOSUISSE, manufacturers, importers, and distributors of cocoa-containing products, Swiss retailers, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), non-profit organizations and research institutions.

To contact our editorial team please email us at

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

A turning point in history? World Food Day shines a light on eradicating hunger, boosting nutrition and mitigating climate change

16 Oct 2018 --- As the dust settles after last week’s stark warnings from climate change experts about how future drought, high temperatures and extreme weather events could seriously impact crops and supply chains, attention turns to World Food Day (WFD) which is being marked today with a campaign to eradicate hunger. Once again food security is on the agenda as key players meet in Rome to mark the day and urge a greater awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.

Food Ingredients News

Irish Minister launches dairy research center, reinforces commitment to agri-food sector

16 Oct 2018 --- The Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, has launched the new VistaMilk SFI Research Centre which is jointly funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and his department. The VistaMilk Centre will be hosted by Teagasc Moorepark (Co. Cork), in partnership with a number of research performing organizations, multinational and SME companies in the food sectors are also part of the consortium.

Food Ingredients News

Cutting rice greenhouse gas emissions: Olam calls for international cooperation

16 Oct 2018 --- Olam is calling for urgent action by the agri-sector including brands, retailers, financial institutions, scientists and governments to implement solutions to limit methane emissions from rice production while improving farmer livelihoods and food security. According to the company, it is essential to consider that many rice consumers are unable to pay more for rice production and the industry should react now.

Food Ingredients News

At the forefront of food trends: Blending big business with disruptive start-ups to accelerate growth

16 Oct 2018 --- This week the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit takes place in London (October 16-17), showcasing the latest innovations and agri-tech intelligence. Hailed as the most international gathering of agribusiness leaders, venture capital investors and agri-tech innovators, the Summit is an international networking and deal-making event for global agribusinesses, solution providers, entrepreneurs and investors. One of the objectives is to accelerate the commercialization of advanced agricultural technologies by generating global partnerships and collaborations.

Food Ingredients News

Longer lasting gum? TasteTech launches innovative Gum Kit for sugar-free applications

16 Oct 2018 --- TasteTech has launched a new Gum Kit specifically designed to help chewing gum manufacturers create longer lasting chewing gum. The UK-based company is a manufacturer of controlled release flavorings and ingredients and is at the forefront of microencapsulation technology, pioneering solutions to food manufacturers worldwide.

More Articles