The amount of sustainable cocoa sourced by Cargill in Ghana has doubled since the establishment of licensed buying company (LBC) model, and over 13,000 cocoa farmers are now benefiting from the initiative – up by 30 per cent from 10,000 a year ago.
The figures have been published as Cargill makes its second sustainable premium payment of GH¢4 million to farmers since establishing its own direct sourcing model in 2016. These premium payments currently represent the highest payments paid per bag of certified cocoa in the industry for the 2017/2018 crop season in Ghana.
Samuel Apana, the Sustainable Country Lead, Cargill Ghana, addressing the farmers
The payment was announced at a ceremony at Sefwi-Bekwai in the Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai District in the Western Region last Tuesday. In attendance were the Omanhene of the Sefwi Wiawso Traditional Area; the Chief of Sefwi Asafo; the Director of Research, COCOBOD, Mr Vincent Akomeah; the Western Regional Manager of CHED, Mr Samuel Asafo, representatives of GhIPSS and representatives from partner banks.
Under the LBC model, Cargill sources and purchases cocoa directly from certified farmers while building stronger relationships both with them and their communities.
Approximately half of the sustainable premium payments are used directly by the farmers to increase productivity and invest in a range of projects such as crop financing and protection, distribution of fertiliser and improving logistics and infrastructure. The other half is used by the wider community to support education, health care and women empowerment initiatives, making a significant contribution to improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities and complementing other community projects undertaken through the Cargill Cocoa Promise.
“Direct sourcing puts cocoa farmers at the heart of our business,” says the Managing Director of Cargill’s Cocoa and Chocolate business in Ghana, Pieter Reichert,“and it means Cargill has become the partner of choice for cocoa farmers in Ghana’’.
“Farmers are recognising that as well as a higher income, our approach offers them a wide range of support services to help them improve the quality and quantity of cocoa beans produced. Such services, delivered under our Cargill Cocoa Promise, include one-on-one agricultural coaching, farmer field schools, high quality seedlings and resources for pest and disease management. The model benefits everyone in the supply chain — farmers, whose livelihoods have improved, Cargill and our customers, who have access to more certified cocoa.”
Unusually for the Ghanaian market, the LBC is fully e-money enabled. This allows Cargill to pay farmers directly by electronic transfer, ensuring the money reaches the grower swiftly, safely and accurately.
Pieter Reichert, the MD of Cargill Ghana, and the Cargill Chief Farmer, Joseph Ackaah (both holding the cheque), with farmers who are excited to have received their premiums
At the payment ceremony, Pieter Reichert added: “It is our hope that our electronic payment model which has proven to benefit the farmers will help encourage the government to fulfil its vision of a cashless economy.”
Currently operating in seven districts of Western North (Awaso, Anhwiaso, Wiawso, Asawinso) and Ashanti (Nyinahin, Effiduase and Ampenim), the success of the LBC has led to four further districts joining the initiative for the next crop season. This brings to a total of 11, the districts in which Cargill Kokoo Sourcing operates.
Cargill’s 155,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive.
We combine 153 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture.
About Cargill in Ghana
Cargill has been buying cocoa from Ghana for over 40 years and in 2008 opened its state-of-the-art cocoa processing facility in Tema. Today the company has over 400 permanent and contracted employees processing cocoa products to service food and confectionary customers locally and around the world. Additionally, our animal nutrition business provides aqua feed which is supporting Ghana’s tilapia fish industry. In 2016 we added a licensed buying company (LBC). Our LBC operations bring innovative ways to trade with our farmers placing emphasis on our sustainability and traceability efforts and build on our long-term commitment to the country and our relationship with the government.
About the Cargill Cocoa Promise
We launched the Cargill Cocoa Promise in 2012 to align our efforts in origin countries. It is our commitment to improving the livelihoods of farmers and communities in a holistic way that will secure a thriving sector for generations to come. The origin countries include Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia.