Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate has renewed its partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to introduce new initiatives to strengthen cocoa producing cooperatives and their communities through an improved Coop Academy 2.0. programme.
The renewed partnership is part of Cargill’s ‘Transformation, Together’ ambition, to ensure a more sustainable cocoa supply chain in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Indonesia and Brazil. Coop Academy 2.0. will provide cooperatives with tools and resources that will allow them to develop their cocoa business, improve sustainability and increase profitability.
The renewed partnership will result in an additional 40 cooperatives, meaning a total of 120 cooperatives will be enrolled in the programme and will take part in updated training with an emphasis on digitalisation and traceability.
Cargill’s digital programme will provide 35,250 farmers with access to digital financial services and will introduce a benchmark tool developed by IFC and SCOPEInsight, an independent agricultural assessment agency. The model will provide cooperative leaders with management skills and stronger data analysis, that will increase business opportunities and inform critical decisions.
Training and support to women’s groups will also be implemented in the new programme, with the aim of coaching 250 women leaders.
The Cargill Coop Academy was first established in 2013 and claimed to be the first of its kind in the cocoa sector. Its partnership with IFC in 2014 was intended to scale the programme to reach over 350 cooperative leaders.
Lionel Soulard, managing director of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate in West Africa, said: “The cooperative model has proven to be an exceptional method to bring cocoa farmers and their communities lasting benefits.
“By gaining invaluable skills and tools to professionalise their business, we see them independently driving impactful sustainability projects that bring meaningful change to their communities and the cocoa sector at large.”
The partnership was supported by the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP), a multi-donor global programme focused on increasing agricultural productivity for smallholders.
By Emma Upshall
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