Barry Callebaut has launched a new platform for chocolate companies and other contributors to help support sustainable cocoa.

The Cocoa Horizons Foundation is an independent nonprofit established to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities. It will promote sustainability, entrepreneurial farming, improved productivity and community development.

The foundation has two main focal points:

●     Training: It will train farmers in good agricultural practices and support them with materials and innovative financing solutions.

●     Improving standard of living: It will also work with rural communities to raise standards of life by improving educational opportunities, supporting child protection, empowering women, and providing safe water and basic health services.

These actions will be implemented with the help of Barry Callebaut's field staff, who work on the ground with cocoa farmers and farming communities, as well as external implementing partners and development experts.

The Cocoa Horizons Foundation will be funded through purchases of Barry Callebaut's Horizons cocoa and chocolate products, contributions from donors and customers, and Barry Callebaut's own contributions as part of its CHF 40 million Cocoa Horizons sustainability initiative, which launched in 2012.

According to Juergen Steinemann, ceo of Barry Callebaut, 25,000 farmers are already enrolled in Cocoa Horizons Foundation activities.

"We are strongly convinced that, together, we can scale our impact for many more cocoa farmers and their communities,” he says.

The foundation considers traceability and transparency a key part of its functions. Data from registered farms will be collected and the cocoa will be traced from farm to warehouse. A global audit firm will also audit the foundation annually to verify its core activities.