Cargill has received its first North American shipment of UTZ-certified chocolate Liquor.

The cocoa comes from farmers in Cote D’Ivoire that have participated in Cargill’s Farmer Field School programs and reached UTZ certification after independent auditing, the company says.

During the 10-month Farmer Field School training program, the farmers are trained in safety and good agricultural practices, with a focus on farming techniques and post-harvest activities, such as pruning, plantation renewal and cocoa fermentation methods, Cargill says.

On average, farmers who participate in the program benefit from a 30% increase in their incomes from higher yields, as well as from an improvement in the quality of their crop.

“We believe training farmers to increase yields, improve quality and adopt more sustainable practices can directly contribute to increased earning for cocoa farmers,” says Don Pearson, president of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate North America. “While increases for each farmer may vary depending on the market price, quality and yields, farmers who adopt better farming practices are benefiting from higher incomes, as well as improving their long-term success.”

UTZ CERTIFIED ensures a balanced standard regarding people, planet and profit. The program focuses on entrepreneurship of the farmer through cost efficient environmentally and socially responsible farming practices.

Cargill has facilities in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Ghana, the Netherlands, UK and the United States.

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