Cargill and The Starbuck Foundation back CARE to financially support women cocoa farmers in Côte d'Ivoire

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Women cocoa farmers in Cargill’s supply chain, using the VSLA platform. Pic: Cargill
Women cocoa farmers in Cargill’s supply chain, using the VSLA platform. Pic: Cargill

Related tags Cargill CARE Cocoa women empowerment

CARE, a leading humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty with a focus on working alongside women and girls, has announced a new initiative to help transform cocoa growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire.

In collaboration with The Starbucks Foundation and cocoa supplier Cargill, the US-based organisation is launching a new effort that will help transform cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire.

The partnership builds on decades of CARE’s experience in developing Village Saving and Loans Associations (VSLAs) that are beneficial to helping more female cocoa farmers become financially independent.

Women are essential to the sustainability of the cocoa sector, and Cargill has been working with CARE for over a decade to implement concrete solutions to empower people. We are proud to now join forces with both CARE and The Starbucks Foundation to scale up the VSLA model and help women to build their capacity to become income generators in their own right, as farmers, as entrepreneurs, and across families​,” said Kate Clancy, Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate sustainability lead.

This partnership is also a testimony to Cargill’s continued commitment to driving economic growth in Côte d’Ivoire​.”

VSLAs increase the impact and sustainability of project activities, as members become self-reliant, and help establish other VSLAs for people in their communities.

Farmer organisations

The partnership aims to establish 120 VSLAs linked to 10 farmer organisations in Cargill’s supply chain, using the VSLA platform for integration of broader gender, nutrition, and water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions.

Cargill will help establish and support 100 VSLAs, and The Starbucks Foundation will support the creation of an additional 20 VSLAs, enabling women to advance, diversify, and expand their income-generating activities.

In total, this new initiative aims to directly impact the lives of 2,500 participants (2,000 women) and indirectly reach 15,000 community members by September 2023. 

VSLAs work with women community members to save together, start small businesses, and help uplift entire families from poverty. With the support of The Starbucks Foundation and Cargill, we can help women in Côte d’Ivoire extend and grow access to resources​,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE US.

She Feeds the World 

The new initiative also supports CARE’s signature She Feeds the World framework, which focuses on empowering women with economic opportunities, increasing their access to resources and markets, and amplifying their voice in relevant policies and institutions at national and local levels