The amount of sustainable cocoa sourced by Cargill in Ghana has doubled since the establishment of its own licensed buying company (LBC) model, and over 13,000 cocoa farmers are now benefiting from the initiative – up by 30% from 10,000 a year ago.
The figures have been published as Cargill makes its second sustainable premium payment of GHS4 million to farmers since establishing its own direct sourcing model in 2016.
These premium payments currently represent the highest payments paid per bag of certified cocoa in the industry for the 2017/2018 crop season in Ghana.
The payment was announced at a ceremony in Sefwi-Bekwai in the Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai District in the Western Region. In attendance were Omanhene of Sefwi Wiawso Traditional Area, Chief of Sefwi Asafo, Director of Research, COCOBOD, Mr. Vincent Akomeah, Western Regional Manager of CHED, Mr. Samuel Asafo, representative of GhIPSS and representatives from partner banks.
Under the LBC model, Cargill sources and purchases cocoa directly from certified farmers while building stronger relationships both with them and their communities.
Approximately half of the sustainable premium payments are used directly by the farmers to increase productivity and invested in a range of projects such as crop financing and protection, distribution of fertilizer and improving logistics and infrastructure.
The other half is used by the wider community to support education, healthcare and women empowerment initiatives, making a significant contribution to improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities, complementing other community projects undertaken through the Cargill Cocoa Promise.
“Direct sourcing puts cocoa farmers at the heart of our business,” says Pieter Reichert, Managing Director of Cargill’s Cocoa and Chocolate business in Ghana, “and it means Cargill has become the partner of choice for cocoa farmers in Ghana’’.
“Farmers are recognizing that, as well as a higher income, our approach offers them a wide range of support services to help them improve the quality and quantity of cocoa beans produced. Such services, delivered under our Cargill Cocoa Promise, include one-on-one agricultural coaching, farmer field schools, high quality seedlings and resources for pest and disease management.
The model benefits everyone in the supply chain – farmers, whose livelihoods have improved, Cargill and our customers, who have access to more certified cocoa.”
Unusually for the Ghanaian market, the LBC is fully e-money enabled. This allows Cargill to pay farmers directly by electronic transfer, ensuring the money reaches the grower swiftly, safely and accurately.
Speaking at the payment ceremony, Pieter Reichert added: “It is our hope that our electronic payment model which has proven to benefit the farmers, will help encourage the government to fulfill its vision of a cashless economy.”
Currently operating in seven districts of the Western North (Awaso, Anhwiaso, Wiawso, Asawinso) and Ashanti (Nyinahin, Effiduase and Ampenim), the success of the LBC has led to four further districts joining the initiative for the next crop season.
This brings to a total of eleven, the districts in which Cargill Kokoo Sourcing operates.