ZURICH, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwire - Jun 29, 2012) -
Barry Callebaut AG /
Barry Callebaut breaks ground at its first Center of Cocoa Excellence in
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Cocoa Horizons sustainability initiative at work
* New CHF 1 million training and research center to be operational from
* "Showcase Farm" will be used to test state-of-the-art intercropping
* Cocoa farmers will receive training in grafting and farm regeneration
techniques to increase crop yields
Barry Callebaut, the world's leading
manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, announced it is
establishing a CHF 1 million (EUR 833,000 / USD 1.05 million) Center of
Excellence to promote advanced agricultural techniques in Côte
world's largest cocoa producing country. The Center will include training
facilities for farmers and a 30-hectare "showcase farm" to demonstrate
state-of-the-art intercropping techniques and other yield enhancement
practices such as
grafting to rejuvenate aging cocoa farms and double farm productivity.
The Center of Cocoa Excellence will be situated in Pacobo in the Department
Tiassalé in the south-central cocoa growing area of Côte
d'Ivoire. A cornerstone
of Barry Callebaut's "Cocoa Horizons" global sustainability initiative, the
Center is scheduled to be operational from October 2012.
The "showcase farm" will comprise about 30 hectares, ten of which will be
planted this year starting in June. Barry Callebaut will use the farm to
different approaches for growing cocoa with other crops. The company is
on its prior experience with intercropping of compatible plants to improve
productivity and biodiversity. Since 2010 Barry Callebaut has supported a
project in the region to demonstrate optimal methods of intercropping
banana and rubber with the goal of improving yields per hectare.
Some of the crops that will be planted alongside cocoa trees on the
farm" include: plantain, coconut, mango, pineapple, beans and maize, as
rubber and others. Shade trees will also be planted.
"This effort reflects the importance of promoting biodiversity - planting
food crops and shade trees in addition to cocoa - on smallholder farms,"
Anke Massart, Project Leader Cocoa Horizons in Côte d'Ivoire. "An
variety of plants and trees simulates the natural diversity found in the
rainforest and results in a healthy ecosystem. This, in turn, means more
productive cocoa trees."
In addition to the environmental benefits, planting other food crops and
together with cocoa also directly benefits farmers and their families by
providing variety to the family diet as well as creating additional sources
income to complement the earnings from cocoa.
Barry Callebaut's Center of Cocoa Excellence as well as five planned Farmer
Academies will be located in important cocoa-growing regions of Ivory Coast
part of the company's Cocoa Horizons initiative. Cocoa Horizons defines a
portfolio of yield enhancement techniques aimed at increasing the yields
hectare and quality of cocoa grown by smallholder farmers. These
approaches are essential to ensure future supplies of quality cocoa and
livelihoods for farmers and their families.
In addition to the "showcase farm," the Center of Cocoa Excellence will
include a building with a classroom, nurseries of cocoa and shade trees as
as fermentation and drying facilities. From October, the Center at Pacobo
offer training to selected farmers from about 20 cooperatives currently
participating in BC's sustainability and certification activities.
Barry Callebaut (www.barry-callebaut.com):
With annual sales of about CHF 4.6 billion (EUR 3.6 billion/USD 5.0
fiscal year 2010/11, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world's leading
manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate - from the cocoa bean to
finished chocolate product. Barry Callebaut is present in 27 countries,
around 40 production facilities and employs a diverse and dedicated
about 6,000 people. Barry Callebaut serves the entire food industry
industrial food manufacturers, artisans and professional users of chocolate
(such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), the latter with its two
brands Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®. Barry Callebaut is the global
cocoa and chocolate innovations and provides a comprehensive range of
in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing.
leadership is another important reason why global as well as local food
manufacturers work together with Barry Callebaut. Through its broad range
sustainability initiatives and research activities, the company works with
farmers, farmer organizations and other partners to help ensure future
of cocoa and improve farmer livelihoods.
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Source: Barry Callebaut AG via Thomson Reuters ONE