The 2019/2020 cocoa season has seen over 19,000 cocoa farmers become beneficiaries of the GH¢6million disbursed by Cargill last month through its Licensed Buying Company (LBC), Cargill Kokoo Sourcing Limited (CKSL) as sustainability premiums for cocoa beans bought.
This premium payment is part of strategies to incentivise farmers to adopt sustainable production practices and support farmer livelihoods in line with the Cargill Cocoa Promise.
Samuel Apana, Sustainability Country Lead, Cargill Ghana Limited, in a statement released on behalf of the company, noted that Cargill is closely working with Ghanaian cocoa farmers to implement a sourcing model that brings benefits to the sector.
"We are in our fifth year of sustainable cocoa sourcing under our unique sourcing approach which combines new high-tech purchasing with the LBC model of direct sourcing and collaboration with farmers and farmer groups and I am happy to note that it is working well," he explained.
"Our gallant farmers have been at the core of this success story and we are working with them on a daily basis to ensure that our sourcing model does not only bring them income but also contributes to sustaining their farms and livelihoods and the sector in general," Mr Apana remarked.
Martin Anane, the recently appointed Cocoa Sourcing Director of Cargill Kokoo Sourcing Limited (CKSL), Cargill's LBC, who has vast experience in the industry explained that the buying process is fully e-money enabled which allows Cargill to pay farmers directly via electronic transfer.
"It is unique in the sense that, it provides a high level of transparency, traceability and security for farmers, the LBC and other stakeholders," he noted.
Fact checks on Premium Payment
A total of 30,000 cocoa farmers in 10 districts benefit from the Cargill Cocoa Promise sustainability interventions in Ghana.
With one-on-one coaching supported with Farm Development Plan, farmers professionalism increases, leading to improved productivity and ultimately higher incomes and better living conditions.
Leveraging on technology, 90% of Lead Farmers have been coached using mobile devices (tablets).
71% of all cocoa farmers in our direct supply chain have been GPS polygon mapped, ensuring better deforestation risk assessment, effective traceability and better yield determination in line with our commitment under the Cocoa and Forest Initiative and third-party certification.In line with our 'Protecting the Planet' goal, over 28,000 farmers have received climate-smart training through the Farmer Field School approach to expose them to the various mitigation and adaptation strategies necessary to overcome the impact of climate change on their farm productivity. Linked to the climate-smart training, a total of 87,400 shade trees have been produced and distributed to farmers for integration into their cocoa farms.To support farmers, undertake rehabilitation of their aged farms in support of the COCOBOD strategy, a total of over 174,000 cocoa seedlings have been raised in 9 nursery locations and distributed, assuring better farmer yields in the future.Working with COCOBOD's Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) and through our e-money input scheme, a total of 7,000 farmers have received pruners, slashers and crop protection products to improve farm maintenance and resistance to pests and diseases.A total of 143 Spray Service Providers have been trained and supported with motorised spraying machines and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to provide spraying services at fees agreed between farmers and the service providers, thus creating rural jobs. Through the use of technology, the operations of these service providers are tracked to ensure farmers derive maximum benefit.In Ghana, through partnerships, Cargill has been working with the International Cocoa Initiative to introduce a community-based approach to the risk of child labour in our direct cocoa supply chain. Cargill's approach involves the training of women and youth to conduct surveys on child labour and coordinate data collection systems in farmer communities. Based on this data, specific remediation plans are developed.The wellbeing of the cocoa farmers community is an important goal under the Cargill Cocoa Promise. In collaboration with CARE International, a total of 51 community projects were completed while 47 additional projects are currently on-going in the cocoa-growing communities to address specific community needs. Projects range from community water and Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS).
Touching on the payment made to farmers this year, Aedo van der Weij, Managing Director (MD) of Cargill Ghana said that the figure represents a 12% increase on the 2018/2019 cocoa season payment which indicates the company's progressing efforts at delivering increased value to the farmers within its sourcing network.
"The impact of the Cargill Kokoo Sourcing model on the lives of farmers and their communities has been significant and this has reflected in the increasing number of farmers joining our network," the elated Managing Director expressed.
Commenting on the impact of the premium payment, the Chief Farmer, Solomon Duku expressed gratitude to Cargill for the support, adding that, the farmers will not renege on the relationship with Cargill.
"I have personally experienced tremendous value for my cocoa beans, as well as from the farmer livelihood interventions, farm development, community support and education on sustainable farming. I feel the same excitement with all the farmers who sell their beans to Cargill. That is the reason we have chosen to remain loyal to Cargill and encourage all others who are not selling to Cargill to do same" said Duku
Cargill COVID-19 Support
Cargill is working with our non-profit and NGO partners around the globe to help address food security, health and safety needs and industry challenges due to the spread of COVID-19.
Cargill has committed $35million to COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts through global and regional partnerships, product donations and employee personal giving. Our response is guided by our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way.
"We are inspired by the medical professionals, first responders, workers and farmers in our communities who are making sure our essential needs are met," said Aedo van der Weij, Managing Director of Cargill Ghana.
"Our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by the virus as we continue to work with our partners on global and local relief efforts," he added.
Cargill Ghana COVID-19 Support
As part of the fulfilment of the company's commitment to supporting the Government of Ghana help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Cargill Ghana donated to the COVID-19 National Trust Fund, assorted Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth GH¢100,000.00.
Hand washing soaps, hand towels and 'veronica buckets' were given to some 30,000 cocoa farmers and 316 communities in cocoa-growing areas in the Western North Region to educate farmers on the COVID-19 prevention protocols, especially the importance of handwashing.
Cargill Ghana also transmitted COCOBOD's voice message of preventing the spread of COVID-19 to over 15,000 cocoa farmers to raise the awareness of the virus and sensitized them on handwashing, social distancing, and other hygiene protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.
In Tema, where the Cargill Ghana Plant is situated, essential food packs were provided to over 1000 families during the lockdown while PPE and Infra-red thermometers were also donated to the Tema Metro to be distributed to health facilities in the city. In concert with the Ghana Free Zones Board, cocoa products the Muslim Communities during the period of the Ramadan.
The staff of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research also received cocoa products as a sign of appreciation for the tremendous work they are doing for Ghana.
Diversity & Inclusion
We live and work by our values of putting people first and doing the right thing. The cornerstone of our commitment is creating an inclusive culture where our employees feel welcome, valued, and heard. We believe equal rights and human dignity are absolute. We stand with all who have spoken up to say Black Lives Matter and "not ever again." While we do not have all the answers, we will listen, engage with community partners, use our voice to commend racial equality and identify ways to drive meaningful, sustainable, systemic change.
Our leaders and employees will continue to use our voices and our actions to fight for those rights, alongside our customers and our communities.
Cargill Cocoa Promise
We launched the Cargill Cocoa Promise in 2012 to align our efforts in origin countries. It is our commitment to improving the livelihoods of farmers and communities in a holistic way that will secure a thriving sector for generations to come. The origin countries include Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Indonesia.
Cargill believes that a prerequisite for making real progress on sustainability is ensuring maximum transparency across the complex cocoa supply chain. Technology and innovation are central to this ambition.
Details of the cocoa beans are recorded in a standardized management system before they are transferred to central warehouses. Through this bar code system, Cargill can now trace each individual bag of beans sourced through its LBC to the individual farmer, creating a fully traceable supply chain.