As the Procurement Manager for Chocolate and Cocoa, what better place to start my strategic sourcing journey than going to origin with the world’s largest chocolate producer to see first-hand the cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast.
The trip was focused on two aspects; farming and sustainability, both of which provided a truly thought provoking insight into the world of cocoa.
As the world’s largest exporter, the Ivory Coast produces c. 1,800mt of cocoa per annum, most of which is grown by small independent farmers each farming between 1-2 hectares. Very few have implemented Good Agricultural Practices [GAP] and as a result yields often range between 250 – 400kg per hectare, which when compared to other producing territories at 600 – 800kg, highlights one of the key challenges facing the Ivory Coast.
As the world’s largest producer of Chocolate, Barry Callebaut have picked up the sustainability mantle launching the Cocoa Horizons program in 2015, which has been designed to provide both financial and educational support for the farmers.
For those buyers wishing to support the program a €136/MT premium is added to the cost of cocoa solids. This premium is then used to provide additional funds to farmers, support community projects and provide education to the farmers including productivity, entrepreneurial and sustainability workshops.