Olam Cocoa said it has distributed over 1,735,233 cocoa seedlings in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana as part of its Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) Action Plans commitments in 2019.
The supplier launched its first cocoa sustainability programme in 2004, and introduced Cocoa Compass in 2019, as part of its ambition for the future of the cocoa sector aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“Since we began our first cocoa sustainability programme in 2004, our approach to environmental stewardship has balanced an improvement in cocoa farmer livelihoods with vital protection of the natural world. In order to challenge ourselves to go even further, we launched Cocoa Compass,” said Andrew Brooks, Olam Cocoa’s head of sustainability.
As well as distributing the cocoa seedlings, Olam Cocoa said that in the past year it has initiated a programme teaching agroforestry techniques to 78,624 farmers along with GPS mapping its entire direct supply chain and providing microfinancing to help thousands of women in cocoa communities support their families.
“At Olam Cocoa, we champion the need to grow responsibly. This holds true for how we work with smallholder cocoa farmers, their communities and the environment in which they operate. We know issues remain in the cocoa supply chain. Smallholders have not experienced enough improvement in incomes, child labour still occurs, and forests continue to be degraded. We are committed to changing this reality,” said Brooks.
Cocoa Compass said it has set future goals in its direct source supply chain across three pillars – ‘Focused on Farmers, Empowered to Grow and Investing in Nature’.
“We know there is still much more to do, and we remain committed to playing our part. In the year ahead in Côte d’Ivoire we will donate a further 535,000 seedlings as part of agroforestry programmes across 193 cocoa farming cooperatives, support 200 hectares of off-farm forest restoration, and develop an action plan to protect 460,000 hectares in two classified forests, helping to secure a sustainable future for cocoa farming in Côte d’Ivoire,” said Brooks.
In Ghana he said Olam will donate an additional 300,000 seedlings as part of the country’s agroforestry programmes across 200 cocoa farming communities, to support 20,000 hectares of cocoa farms.
“These are complex problems with no quick fix. They require long-term commitment and collective effort, which is why Olam Cocoa is a dedicated partner of CFI,” said Brooks.