More than 19,000 cocoa farmers have received a total of GH¢6 million disbursed by Cargill through its Licensed Buying Company (LBC), Cargill Kokoo Sourcing Limited, as sustainability premiums for beans bought in the 2018/2019 cocoa season.
This sustainable premium payment is part of farmer-benefits under Cargills unique sourcing model.
In a statement released by the company and copied to the Ghana News Agency, Mr Samuel Apana, the Sustainability Country Lead of Cargill Ghana Limited, said Cargill is closely working with Ghanaian cocoa farmers to implement a sourcing model that brings benefits to the sector.
“We are in our third year of the sustainable cocoa sourcing, under our sourcing approach, which combines new high-tech purchasing with the LBC model of direct sourcing and collaboration with farmers and I am happy to note that it is working well.
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 said.
Cargills LBC, which began operating in September 2016, allows the company to directly source cocoa from certified farmers in Ghana. The buying process is fully e-money enabled, allowing Cargill to pay farmers directly by electronic transfer, the statement said.
The initiative is part of the Cargill Cocoa Promise – The Cargill Cocoa Promise, is the company’s commitment to enabling farmers and their communities to achieve better incomes and living standards; and to secure a thriving cocoa sector for generations to come.
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.
The company’s innovative purchasing model uses the latest technology to implement the principles of sustainability and full traceability of cocoa beans in Ghana. Farmers deliver their cocoa to community warehouses where their beans are digitally weighed and assigned a traceable bar code.
Funds are then transferred straight to the farmer’s phone or e-wallet, using E-money through partnerships with the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) and mobile money platforms.
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.
Commenting on the payment made to farmers this year, Pieter Reichert, Managing Director of Cargill Ghana was quoted to have said that, this year’s figure represents a 33 per cent increase on the 2017/2018 cocoa season payment, which indicates the company’s efforts at delivering increased value to the famers within its sourcing network.
The statement said: “Cargill in May this year, launched its 2017/2018 Sustainability Report, which highlights progress made by the company on its five Sustainability Goals.
It said: “Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate set these Sustainability Goals in 2017 and these goals are aligned to the UN Sustainability Development Goals.
Key footprints of the initiatives under these goals include one-on-one coaching for 6,500 farmers with Farm Development plans (FDPs) to increase professionalism, improve productivity and ultimately farmer incomes for better living conditions.
Also, in line with the ‘Protecting the Planet’ goal, over 13,000 farmers have received climate smart trainings to expose them to the various mitigation and adaptation strategies necessary to overcome the impact of climate change on their farm productivity,” the statement said.
To help farmers undertake rehabilitation of their aged farms in support of COCOBOD’s strategy, a total of 219,000 cocoa seedlings have been raised in 5 nursery locations and distributed to farmers; assuring better farmer yields in the future.
The statement said through input delivery programmes and in collaboration with Syngenta, a total of 5,000 farmers had received improved crop protection products which improves the resilience of their cocoa farms to pests and diseases likely to affect productivity.
The company, through its collaboration with Care International is also transforming the communities where they operate.
It said 108 women groups, Community Development Committees (CDCs) and School Management Committees (SMCs) had received capacity building to strengthen local community structures with 39 community projects completed to address specific community needs.
The statement said projects included community water, school infrastructure and CHPS compounds among others.
Cargill said in the statement that the plan was to continually expand these programmes to cover the increasing numbers of farmers joining the Cargill Kokoo Sourcing network and their communities.