Barry Callebaut outlines ‘becoming forest positive actions' for 2021 and beyond

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) featured in the Barry Callebaut CFI Progress Report include the topics of replanting, pruning, and soil nutrition. Pic: Barry Callebaut
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) featured in the Barry Callebaut CFI Progress Report include the topics of replanting, pruning, and soil nutrition. Pic: Barry Callebaut

Related tags Barry callebaut deforestation

Barry Callebaut says it is committed to ending deforestation in the cocoa and chocolate industry as part of its actions in the months and years ahead, which are highlighted in its the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) Progress Report 2020.

“Working in close partnership and collaboration with industry, governments, and civil society, we can continue to deliver on the objectives we set ourselves.

“Going forward, we will continue to explore what’s needed to scale innovative solutions as well as investigate the latest opportunities in technology. In addition, we will advance our efforts to promote large-scale reforestation, in order to become forest positive, mitigate the impacts of climate change and restore the ecosphere of forests,” ​it pledges in the report.

I think we should be extremely proud --  Pablo Perversi, Chief Innovation, Sustainability & Quality Officer,  Barry Callebaut

Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana respectively lost 25% and 8% of primary forest between 2002-20191. With a significant portion of deforestation attributable to cocoa farming expansion, collective action to end cocoa-related deforestation was needed and at the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference, the CFI Frameworks for Action, defining the core commitments and time-bound targets required for a deforestation-free and forest-positive cocoa supply chain, was established in partnership with the World Cocoa Foundation.

CFI is the first-ever agreement that any industry has actually done in a multipartite way to solve, with clear accountability on all party sides, the issues of sustainability and in this case, deforestation,”​ Pablo Perversi, Chief Innovation, Sustainability & Quality Officer, Barry Callebaut, explains to ConfectioneryNews.

When you look at what we were trying to achieve, and where we are today, vis-à-vis 2017 when we signed the agreement, I think we should be extremely proud. Not only as BC but also as an industry - including the World Cocoa Foundation, IDH (Sustainable Trade Initiative), the Ivorian and Ghanaian government … because we've moved an industry into accountability, we've moved government's into accountability for solving some of the issues.”

As a founder member of CFI, Barry Callebaut’s key CFI achievements in 2020 include the mapping of 158,830 farms in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana in its direct supply chain in order to establish traceability for the cocoa volumes coming from its mapped farms. “We have undertaken this work as a matter of priority​,” it says and, “mapping the size and geography of a farm indicates if it is located in, or near, a protected forest area​”.

Climate change

Hamidu Issaka is a Barry Callebaut Community Development Manager, based in Kumasi, Ghana, who helps cocoa farmers to acquire key skills and knowledge to improve their lives and communities by employing responsible labour practices, professionalise their farms, increase productivity and increase resilience against climate change.

We often find that a farmer has no idea about the size of his farm, which may not seem like such a huge problem. But, for example, if a farmer thinks his plot is four hectares, when it is in fact only two hectares, consider the substantial cost savings he could make by buying fertilizer for only two hectares. In addition, it also prevents the farmer from applying too much fertilizer, which has a detrimental impact on yield. Mapping gives farmers a better understanding of their own operations​,” he says.

In its CFI Progress report, Barry Callebaut also says it is continuing to make an impact despite the challenges of COVID-19, and other key achievements include the public disclosure of its direct cocoa suppliers in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, training farmers in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and on- and off-farm restoration, via the distribution of seedlings and native trees.

If you actually look at what's happening right now, we've actually done mapping of farmers on the ground. We've done planting of trees. We've done training for farmers’ terms of good agricultural, practice – and the amount of agroforestry initiatives that I actually see going into the future is absolutely huge in terms of number of hectares covered with agro-forestry.

So what you start to see is that the dynamics of action, and the impact is yielding results in terms of stopping the rate at which deforestation was actually growing in Ivory Coast and Ghana and that's the ultimate goal of what we're trying to achieve,​” says Perversi.

  • Read more on Barry Callebaut’s CFI progress here​.

-- The headline on this article was amended on 7/5/2021 from Barry Callebaut outlines ‘becoming forest positive for 2021 and beyond’ ​to Barry Callebaut outlines ‘becoming forest positive actions' for 2021 and beyond.

Related news

Show more

1 comment

Replanting a few trees in cocoa farms does NOT make for Deforestation

Posted by François Ruf,

What Barry Callebaut does by planting a few trees in cocoa farms is positive but the global 'becoming forest positive' statement is totally wrong and abusive.

Meantime 'protected forests' keep being burnt by illegal migrants. Chocolate companies prefer to ignore that trend and close their eyes.

1. Planting a few trees in cocoa farms (which is supposed to be called agroforestry) dos NOT replace the primary forest. The botanic and animal biodiversity is disintegartig and an agroforestry system does n,ot necessarily replace the role of forests in the climate. You cannot find elephants in cocoa farms mixed with a few akpi, cola trees or Framiré. Elephants, Chimpanzees, and many other animals, and many botanic species are justs dying in Côte d'Ivoire because of uncontrolle cocoa expansion .

2. This cocoa coming out 'protected forest' is recycled by cooperatives as 'certified cocoa'. The timid action of suppressing certification of coops considered as too close to protected forest has zero-impact. This cocoa is recycled through coops which are considered as sufficiently 'far' from 'protected forests'

So, I put all my energy and experience of 42 years of reserach in cocoa farming and all my affection to cocoa farmers and to Côte d'Ivoire which is my 'second country', to protest against such statements which are close to lies and which do not prevent deforestation, Maybe they just try to hide it.

This is my personal commitment and output of my research, not necessarily that of my institute but I know that many researchers at CIRAD and working with CIRAD share the same view. Many cocoa farmers also do share that view. Chocolate companies should reconsider rapidly their social and environmental responsability regarding deforestation related to uncontrolled cocoa expansion in Côte d'Ivoire.

Report abuse