Cocoa farmers in Côte d'Ivoire, Brazil, Cameroon, Ghana and Indonesia received $19 million in premiums for selling certified cocoa beans in 2014 through Cargill’s Cocoa Promise program. In total, Cargill Cocoa Promise has paid out $44 million since its inception in 2012.

The premiums, which are achieved by farmers for selling their UTZ, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade certified cocoa beans, are funded by confectionery and food manufacturers as well as retailers, and are positively supporting the ongoing development of a sustainable cocoa supply chain.

"Premium payments and cocoa certification remain a valuable catalyst in making progress towards a sustainable cocoa supply chain,” says Taco Terheijden, Cargill’s director of cocoa sustainability. “We are proud to be part of this process and to see the positive developments in the sector. Not only are the cocoa farmers and their communities benefitting from higher incomes and better health and education, at the same time manufacturers, retailers and consumers can be confident about where their cocoa is coming from and how it is being produced."

The premium payments are made to certified farmer cooperatives, with 50 percent going directly to individual farmer members, and the remainder being invested in projects by the farmer organization to boost productivity, farm development and benefit the community.  They also provide an incentive to adopt good agricultural practices and are directly supporting improvements that are making a positive difference to local communities.

Through its on-the-ground network and long-term personal relationships with cooperatives, Cargill is able to track in detail how these premiums are distributed and how farmer organizations decide to invest their funds. Recent information shows the monies are being invested in:

  • Strengthening farmer cooperatives by providing crop financing, developing buildings, improving logistics, employee health and safety, and expanding certification activities
  • Community projects such as schools and education, healthcare and road rehabilitation
  • Farmer services, such farm development, crop protection, fertilizer distribution.

In Côte d'Ivoire, a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership between the Conseil du Café-Cacoa, Cargill and CARE has enabled 14 farmer cooperatives to use their premium payments to access additional funding. As a result, the partnership has built 11 new schools for 1,650 children and three new health centers providing access to healthcare for 25,000 people.

"Farmer organizations play a critical role in improving farmer livelihoods and the living standards of local communities, as well as supporting the long-term future of sustainable cocoa," explains Terheijden. "Our insights prove that premiums paid directly to farmer organizations play a critical role for these organizations to take their destiny in their own hands. While we continue to see a growing demand for sustainable cocoa from our customers, it is essential that we share the impact these premiums are making."