Growing Great Chocolate
Partnering For Productivity
Besides the chocolate used for Chocolove's Fair Trade chocolate bars, of our other chocolates, most of the cocoa beans are sourced through the Growing Great Chocolate program (GGC). This is a program set up and run by Barry Callebaut. We support the program because it focuses on helping the farmer grow more and better beans as a way to get more farmer revenue and build community. We also believe that while Barry Callebaut buys beans from the farmers’ coops or exporters, it is their rightful role to raise up the farmer and in doing so also ensure the future supply of quality chocolate. While not all of our chocolates are made from GGC beans, not all of our chocolate is made from beans from West Africa. GGC program farmers must sign an affidavit to the effect that they abide by ILO standards for child labor and if found to be in violation are removed from the GGC program.
The copy below is taken verbatim from the Growing Great Chocolate™ website. Visit www.callebaut.com/ocen/growing-great-chocolate to learn more.
Partnering For Productivity
Through the Growing Great Chocolate™ programme, Callebaut® partners up with the cocoa farmer cooperative directly, enabling us to introduce good agricultural practices, improve crop quality, and of course, pay directly so that the farmers are guaranteed a fair price without having to share with middlemen and traders.
Through the partnership, Callebaut® and the participating cooperative mutually commit to work together and improve the quality of the cocoa, the farms and the living standards of farmers and their families.
In farmer field schools, farmers are taught about the complex cocoa processes, from soil management to bean fermentation and drying. The result is clearly visible: crop yields have been increasing year after year. Furthermore, yields of top-grade cocoa beans are rising – the grade Callebaut® requires of its Finest Belgian Chocolate.
Planting New Trees
Understanding the importance of planting trees, we've established tree nurseries, where we grow cocoa trees and the taller shade trees on which cocoa trees depend to mature properly. Cocoa farmers can buy seedlings of both types at a low price and plant both for tomorrow's cocoa and ecological diversity.
Fundamental: Health Care And Education
Through the Growing Great Chocolate™ programme, Callebaut® assists cooperatives to meet some of the basic health care needs of their farmer members. We sponsor and distribute insecticide-treated mosquito nets throughout the year, co-organise the distribution of medical kits to cocoa farmers and sponsor vaccination campaigns in several cocoa growing communities.
As remote farming communities in West Africa often lack sufficient schools and qualified teachers, we understand the importance of schooling the children of cocoa farmers. Working together with local NGO partners, we have organised training activities to raise awareness among farmers and coop representatives about the issue of child labour.
In 2009 we inaugurated a new secondary school which, with other partners, we plan to develop into a community learning centre to benefit hundreds more of all ages.
In 2010 we initiated two rural school construction projects with two cooperatives and the local authorities. Our long-term goal is to support participating cooperatives in building primary schools in cocoa farming communities that don't have their own.