Barry Callebaut’s joint venture cocoa partner Biopartenaire is now Rainforest Alliance Certified - a move that forms part of a wider puzzle of efforts towards sustainability, it said.
The specialized village-to-port cocoa bean supplier based in the Côte d’Ivoire now holds a dual certification as it was UTZ Certified in 2011.
Raphael Wermuth, head of media relations at Barry Callebaut, said the new certification is “very positive”.
“In the last two to three years, we have seen a significant increase in demand for certification with our customers,” Wermuth told ConfectioneryNews.com.
“It’s one piece of the puzzle of our continuous efforts. It helps us to push forward in increasing our certified volumes,” he said.
He added that currently, nearly 10% of Barry Callebaut’s total sales volumes is certified.
Established in 2010, Biopartenaire works with cocoa farmers in 292 villages and works with Barry Callebaut to offer farmer training. Its village-to-port proprietary sourcing model also ensures a “high degree of transparency and supply chain security”, Barry Callebaut said.
Eric Smeets, founder of Biopartenaire, said: “Achieving recognition first as UTZ Certified and now as Rainforest Alliance Certified in about two years is a testament to the perseverance and hard work of our staff and all our participating famers, and underscores our commitment to smallholders and sustainable cocoa.”
Nicholas Camu, group manager of Barry Callebaut's sustainable cocoa scheme 'Cocoa Horizons', said the cocoa supplier’s business model is an effective way to reach thousands of independent farmers.
“Through our joint venture with Biopartenaire, we aim to leverage its farmer-centric approach to reach more farming communities and advance sustainable cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire,” Camu said.