Barry Callebaut and the government of Cameroon signed a letter of intent on May 23 to intensify the cooperation on sustainable cocoa farming—in particular, supporting the next generation of cocoa farmers. Barry Callebaut and the Cameroon government aim to support the next generation of cocoa farmers from Cameroon through the NEW GENERATION* program by establishing access to family farm plots, training, inputs, financing and equipment acquisition.

In addition, the focus will be on cocoa farmer income diversification programs, by promoting, next to cocoa farming, the cultivation of other agricultural products and the marketing of these products.

The Cameroon NEW GENERATION program was initiated by the Cameroon Cocoa and Coffee Interprofessional Council (CICC) to eliminate those barriers that are currently stopping many young Cameroonians from succeeding their parents in cocoa farming. The program aims for the establishment of Centres of Excellence for post-harvest treatment, as well as the systematization of good agriculture and post-harvest practices.  

"Without cocoa farmers, there is no chocolate. By combining the expertise and resources on the ground from the CICC and Barry Callebaut we want to accelerate the progress towards a sustainable cocoa farming sector, in order for cocoa farming to remain an attractive professional future for young Cameroonians," said Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO.

The signatories envisage to present the first outcomes of their collaboration in early 2020.

*The NEW GENERATION program, launched in 2012 by the CICC, was established to rejuvenate cocoa farms, introduce young Cameroonians into cocoa farming and lower the average age for cocoa farmers in Cameroon.