BRAZIL – Cargill has partnered with the non-profit organization, Imaflora to implement two projects to support cocoa producers in Pará, Brazil with an aim of increasing productivity and provide sustainable cocoa for the chocolate industry.
According to the agribusiness company, the projects are also designed to simultaneously improve the well-being of farmers and promote adoption of environmental conservation actions and good agricultural practices.
The projects are expected to help 150 families in São Felix do Xingu by restoring approximately 740 acres of degraded farmland while at the same time increasing and diversifying revenues of farmers.
In addition, the partners will train more than 50 cocoa producers in Medicilândia, on best-in-class cultivation techniques and efficient use of farming products to meet the standards of sustainable cocoa production.
As a non-profit organization, Imaflora is focused on strengthening the cocoa production chain, encouraging education and supporting public policies to combat illegal deforestation.
“We have been operating in São Felix do Xingu for ten years, and we see that these projects are very important for improving production conditions while restoring degraded areas, with the help of agriculture experts as resources,” says Eduardo Trevisan Gonçalves, project manager at Imaflora.
Cargill will provide financial and management support to strengthen the actions associated with the cocoa production chain and environmental sustainability.
The company noted that it is focusing its efforts at the start of the supply chain to address the origin of the most pressing challenges while at the same time ensuring that the greatest impact is attained.
“Everything always comes down to how we create lasting benefits for cocoa farmers, their families and communities,” explains Laerte Moraes, managing director Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate in Brazil.
“We want to empower them to own their futures and achieve their own business success. This aligns with our global sustainability strategy and is part of Cargill’s Protect Our Planet Strategic Action Plan.
“We believe in a collective approach in which everyone has a role to play, and we recognize the value of sharing best practice, developing initiatives that complement other people’s activities and working closely with key partners who know the local context and culture,” added Laerte Moraes.
Projects involved in the partnership include Floresta Produtiva (Productive Forest) and Farmer Coaching.
The Floresta Produtiva project involves 150 producers supporting the implementation of Agroforestry Systems (SAFs) and the environmental sustainability of the properties under the Brazilian Forest Code.
The Farmer Coaching project includes training more than 50 producers to become ambassadors of good practices in sustainable cocoa production throughout the region.
The initiatives are part of Cargill’s global sustainability goals, focused on the economic and social prosperity of farmers and the protection of forests.