Cargill’s Cocoa & Chocolate business has established its own licensed buying company (LBC) following the successful application for a license from the Ghanaian Cocoa Board (Cocobod).

The new LBC is now fully operational and Cargill has purchased its first consignment of beans directly from cocoa farmers in Ghana, with around 30,000 farmers already registered with the LBC. By directly sourcing the beans, the company is now able to diversify the way it sources sustainable beans and rolls out the Cargill Cocoa Promise more effectively to better serve its customers.

“Direct sourcing of certified beans from farmers via our own LBC in Ghana is an exciting new business model for us”, said Lionel Soulard, Managing Director West-Africa, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. “Cocoa sustainability is at the heart of our global growth strategy for cocoa and chocolate. Developing a direct sourcing capability in the world’s second-largest cocoa producing country means we will be better placed to meet growing demand for sustainable, certified cocoa.

“We are confident this business model will add value at every level, particularly for farmers who—as a result of working directly with us—will make a better living out of cocoa farming. We are really proud of this development.”

Cargill has operated a cocoa processing plant in Ghana since 2008. The move to direct sourcing of cocoa with a team of 60 in the country reflects the company’s commitment to growing the business in Ghana. It will also enable a more direct approach to supporting more productive, profitable and sustainable farms.

The new purchasing model will be fully sustainable and fully certified. By operating its own LBC, Cargill will implement high standards of safety, integrity and quality throughout the supply chain in Ghana.

“We already source directly from cocoa farmers or farmer organizations in the other cocoa producing countries in which we operate, said Soulard. “By moving to this model in Ghana we will be much better positioned to fully implement the Cargill Cocoa Promise.