Barry Callebaut is back at it again.

The company has announced a partnership with IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, to implement new and innovative cocoa sustainability programs. The broad partnership covers an array of programs aimed at improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and the sustainability of the cocoa sector.

 “We are proud to partner with IDH, a global leader in supply chain sustainability innovations, to promote professional, sustainable cocoa farming," says Antoine de Saint-Affrique, ceo, Barry Callebaut. "This innovative partnership will help drive the implementation and impact of our cocoa sustainability initiatives. Sustainability is at the heart of our business model and values.”

The collaboration will, first and foremost, allow 60,000 farmers to invest in the long-term productivity of their farms by developing new farm and cooperative financing solutions. The partners have already opened 4,000 savings accounts in cooperation with Advans, a leading microfinance institution in West Africa.

Barry Callebaut will also participate in IDH's development of gender equality and nutrition strategy. The partners will jointly fund projects to support the role of women in cocoa communities and diversity on cocoa farms, as well as establish systems to commercialize and bring non-cocoa crops and products to market.

In collaboration with IDH and UTZ, Barry Callebaut will implement an impact evaluation strategy using Farmer Field Books. It will allow reliable, high-quality performance measurements of farm data and the efficient management of sustainable farm activities.

The approach is based on Common Data Collection and Management Protocol, which offers training for assessors, data entry and management, and data analysis at the farmer level, farmer group level, and company level.

Finally, through IDH's Initiative for Sustainable Landscapes and in partnership with the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation and the Ivorian forests agency SODEFOR, Barry Callebaut will test a sustainable cocoa production system. The system will balance profitable cocoa production and forest conservation by providing farmers with productivity and agroforestry packages, while sensitizing the local population to forest protection.

 “It is the willingness of frontrunners like Barry Callebaut’s to innovate and challenge the status quo that will shape the future of sustainable cocoa," says Joost Oorthuizen, executive director of IDH.