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Cargill - Responsible cocoa sourcing at Cargill

Added on 22-03-2013





Business challenge

Cargill's commitment to sustainable cocoa underlines our belief that training farmers and supporting communities is key to ensuring that cocoa is produced sustainably, increasing farmers' incomes and improving quality of life for them and their families, particularly in West Africa where the majority of the world's cocoa is grown.


In West Africa, we support efforts to encourage small scale farmers in rural communities to adopt better agricultural management practices, helping them to increase yields, improve quality and increase their incomes.  We are also helping them to gain independent certifications, such as ‘UTZ Certified'. Furthermore, in partnership with other organisations, we are improving the livelihoods of farmers and their families by improving access to education and basic services.

Cargill supports the following key initiatives:

  • The UTZ CERTIFIED cocoa programme, which provides independent certification to improve agricultural, environmental and social practices.
  • Cargill's Farmer Field Schools programme, which is helping small-scale farmers to benefit from an average 30 percent increase in incomes from higher yields and improved crop quality. 
  • Ensuring responsible labour practices.  We have joined other members of the global cocoa and chocolate industry to work with West African governments and NGOs to mitigate child labour. Our own projects aim to improve educational opportunities and protect children from forced or dangerous work on farms.
  • Investing in cocoa communities. Cargill supports CARE's efforts to improve farmers' skills, eliminate child labour and improve educational opportunities for children in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. The project promotes community participation and access to social services, teacher training, and working with farmers to increase cocoa yields and raise incomes..


Cargill has announced a three-year $5 million commitment to expand its support for sustainable cocoa in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. This includes a partnership with CARE to sponsor a new program of activities to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their families in 130 communities in Ghana, as well as 10 communities in the Côte d'Ivoire. In total, it is estimated the program will help improve educational opportunities for at least 60,000 children, as well as improving the livelihoods of cocoa growing families within these rural communities. Cargill will also expand its Farmer Field Schools program to support tens of thousands of more farmers over the coming years. This training is directly helping farmers increase yields, improve quality and increase their incomes, as well as enabling them to gain independent certification, such as UTZ Certified.

Challenges/Lessons learned:

  • By the end of 2010, Cargill will have 25,000 farmers in various training programmes in Côte d'Ivoire and 21 farmer cooperatives, with over 11,000 farmer members will have achieved independent UTZ Certification as a result of Cargill's Farmer Field Schools program enabling more than 10,000 tonnes of UTZ cocoa beans to be processed by Cargill into high-quality cocoa and chocolate products for use by food manufacturers in their branded products.
  • Cargill's Cocoa & Chocolate business has handed over the first UTZ Certified premiums to two farmer cooperatives in Côte d'Ivoire. The two farmer cooperatives received over U.S. $400,000 for deliveries of UTZ Certified sustainable cocoa beans since the beginning of October 2009.

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