A programme representing 8,000 cocoa farmers across six sourcing countries (Mexico, Côte d'Ivoire, Vietnam, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Uganda) has established a series of measures to help with the threat of COVID-19.
Belcolade & Puratos said it is supporting farmers by guaranteeing their income, raising awareness about the virus and ensuring hygiene measures are applied.
A spokesperson said the close relationships its Cacao-Trace programme has developed on the ground have allowed the companies to identify where it can make the biggest impact on the farmers’ current situation.
Vital source of income
Maintaining the cacao sourcing volume commitment, despite the expected decrease in volume sold due to Covid-19, is crucial because it means that a vital source of income for the farmer community is guaranteed and all post-harvest fermentation centres in the countries are remaining open.
Cacao-Trace farmers are receiving their quality premium upon delivery of their beans as normal and work on the cocoa plantations is allowed to continue safely as social distancing can easily be applied, meaning the risk of spreading the virus while working is very low.
Nebie Adama, a Cacao Trace farmer, from the Nero Brousse region of Côte d'Ivoire, said: “Despite the presence of the coronavirus, we can work, harvest and deliver fresh beans to the fermentation centre. If the sale and purchase of cocoa were to be suspended, the situation would be unbearable for us.”
One of the cornerstones of the Cacao-Trace programme is the Chocolate Bonus, which it says it will remain unchanged and is shared between the farmers based on the value of the premium quality cocoa beans
The Puratos Group, which established the Belcolade chocolate brand 30 years ago, said it is committed to providing all farmers with protective masks, soaps and buckets for handwashing ensuring preventive, sanitation and hygiene measures to protect farmers against Covid-19.
Cacao-Trace is Belcolade and Puratos’ sustainable cocoa sourcing programme, focusing on creating value for all through taste improvement and improving fermentation via post-harvest centres in sourcing regions. With the unique Chocolate Bonus, customers and consumers directly help cocoa farmer communities. For further information, visit www.cacaotrace.com