Barry Callebaut and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) signed a letter of intent June 4, to intensify the cooperation on sustainable cocoa farming. The purpose of the letter of intent is for both signatories to work collaboratively towards the design and validation of a sustainable cocoa farming model, with a specific focus on the clearing and replanting of cocoa trees infected with the swollen-shoot virus (CSSV) disease. Also, the cooperation will include agroforestry, more specifically income diversification for cocoa farmers and the planting of shade trees. In addition, Barry Callebaut and the COCOBOD will work together on making cocoa cultivation more attractive to women cocoa farmers and young cocoa farmers. Finally, both parties will intensify their cooperation on community-led engagement towards the eradication of the worst forms of child labor.
"This letter of intent is an important step towards the design of a new model for sustainable cocoa farming. Combining the expertise and resources on the ground of both the COCOBOD and Barry Callebaut will lead to more impactful interventions and accelerate the progress towards a sustainable cocoa farming sector in Ghana, the second largest cocoa producer in the world," said Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut.
"Through the clearing of CSSV infected cocoa trees, we have the opportunity to further ensure a sustainable cocoa farming model in Ghana whilst exploring agroforestry at the same time, by replanting the cleared areas with young cocoa trees, shade trees and additional crops to diversify the income of Ghanaian cocoa farmers," said Joseph Boahen Aidoo, chief executive, COCOBOD.
The signatories hope to present the first outcomes of their collaboration in early 2019.