GHANA – The global agricultural corporation, Cargill has announced plans for future investment in the chocolate business and support for cocoa farmers as it celebrates its 10th anniversary in Ghana.

The company is also toasting to mark a decade of sustainability and innovation in the Ghana cocoa chain through its unique business model.

Under its 2022 roadmap for Ghana, Cargill plans to provide capacity building support and access to inputs to 80,000 farmers through its Farmer Field Schools.

The company seeks to provide one million new cocoa seedlings for rehabilitation of old farms and 200,000 shade tree seedlings to protect cocoa trees and improve biodiversity while enhancing access to crop protection for 30.000 farmers.

Cargill said it is targeting 100% mapping of farms using geolocation and perimeter of the farms to allow deforestation monitoring and farm development and also ensure that 9,000 ha of cocoa are developed into a cocoa agroforestry system within the Cocoa & Forest Initiative.

“Our 2022 roadmap is fully aligned with our global sustainability goals and consolidates our continuing support for a sustainable cocoa business here in Ghana.

Completion of our mapping programme will ensure farm sizes are accurately recorded to support farmers in decision making and investment.

At the same time 80,000 farmers will be trained in good agricultural, environmental and social practices to support certification,” said Ghana managing director Pieter Reichert.

The initiatives build on Cargill Cocoa Promise, a commitment to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and the communities they operate in by helping them secure a long-term supply of cocoa.

Investment in Sustainability and Innovation

Through the Cargill Cocoa Promise, the company targets to benefit 1 million farmers, zero deforestation, ensure 100% farmer to plant traceability by 2013 and also achieve zero child labour along the cocoa value chain.

Since the establishment of its own licensed buying company (LBC) model, Cargill has doubled the amount of sustainable cocoa sourced in Ghana, having benefited 13,000 cocoa farmers.

The firm which trades in grain and other agricultural commodities identifies innovation, key to its sustainability approach.

Such initiatives include installation of a fully automated, digital solar power system at its Tema facility to diversify its energy supply, in line with Ghana’s target of having 10% renewable energy in its electricity generation mix by 2020.

Cargill is also a signatory of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative, commitment of cocoa-producing countries Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Colombia with a goal to achieve zero deforestation in its global supply chain.

In 2016, Cargill launched its Ghana licensed buying company, Cargill Kokoo Sourcing Company Limited to enable the full traceability of cocoa beans.

The platform which encompasses electronic money transfer and cloud-based information systems claims to have made US$1.25 million in premium payments, benefiting 13,000 farmers.

“We must embrace new technologies as a way for Cargill to drive sector growth. For example, we have introduced e-money into our business model.

This allows Cargill to buy cocoa directly from farmers and their cooperatives and pay them by electronic transfer, ensuring the money reaches them swiftly, safely and accurately.

Ultimately, this improves the livelihoods of farmers and their communities. At the same time, new technological solutions are driving more precise, accurate traceability within the cocoa supply chain,” said Harold Poelma, president of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate.