Barry Callebaut and Nestlé announce large-scale cocoa agroforestry project in Côte d’Ivoire

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Fruit trees planted among cocoa allow farmers to further diversify their income, while also removing significant amounts of carbon. Pic: Barry Callebaut
Fruit trees planted among cocoa allow farmers to further diversify their income, while also removing significant amounts of carbon. Pic: Barry Callebaut

Related tags Nestlé Chocolate Cocoa Barry callebaut Côte d'ivoire Sustainability

The long-term agreement with Nestlé will include payments for ecosystem services (PES) to more than 6,000 farmers covering 11,500 hectares of agroforestry in Côte d’Ivoire. The implementation of the project is already underway, with three cooperatives in the South-Western parts of Côte d’Ivoire engaged in the project, scaling to 10 cooperatives and reaching full scale after five years of planting.

Encompassing Barry Callebaut’s Forever Chocolate strategy, Nestlé’s Net Zero ambition and the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, the long-term agreement will also protect biodiversity and support the livelihoods of cocoa farmers.

An agroforestry insetting approach also allows for the removal of carbon within our and our customers' supply chains, and is an important milestone on our joint climate journey, supporting our efforts to further scale agroforestry across cocoa-growing communities​,” said Barry Callebaut.

Nestlé Cocoa Plan

The project is fully aligned with the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, which aims to make Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain more sustainable, Nestlé’s overarching Net Zero Roadmap and commitment to regenerative agriculture. This joint partnership supports Nestlé’s and Barry Callebaut’s climate-smart cocoa ambitions, by aiming to remove up to 1.3 million tons of CO2e over 25 years. This project also aligns with the Science-based Target initiative (SBTi), as well SustainCert verification and the Gold Standard Foundation.

As part of Nestlé’s Net Zero roadmap, we are committed to reducing our business' climate impact all the way to the farms we source from. A trusted partner like Barry Callebaut is essential to achieving success. Over 21,000 football fields are covered by our joint agroforestry project to support farmers who are part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan​," said Darrell High, Cocoa Manager at Nestlé

Agroforestry helps farmers to develop cocoa farms that are more resilient to drought and diseases, have better soil quality, produce better and higher yields, and provide them with additional sources of income. Cocoa grown under shade trees is also linked to increased biodiversity, carbon removals, and nutrient retention in the soil. In collaboration with local experts and following the latest scientific findings, the plan is to determine the best mix of primarily native species to promote cocoa and soil regeneration and attract pollinators, while providing extra income for farmers and removing carbon.

As part of Barry Callebaut’s Forever Chocolate plan, it said it plans to invest into carbon removal activities jointly with farmers and customers. This pioneering partnership with Nestlé, a company strongly committed to climate action, shows that agroforestry can deliver significant positive impact where it matters most - in the shared value chain. The collaboration allows us to support the planting of trees on cocoa farms, while restoring the ecosystems, removing carbon from the atmosphere, diversifying farmers' income and ultimately increasing farm climate resilience​," said Tilmann Silber, Global Forest and Carbon Program Lead at Barry Callebaut.

Sustainability know-how

Barry Callebaut said that as a sustainability leader in the cocoa and chocolate industry, it has  developed strong sustainability know-how and capabilities. Collaborating with more than  1,600 colleagues in cocoa-origin countries, it has developed a unique pool of expertise, providing in-house capacity to implement and scale impact on the ground.

This combination of expertise and cocoa-origin presence are key enablers of our robust programme implementation and impact-driven solutions, and is a point of differentiation for our customers​,” it said.

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