Cargill Supports Cocoa

Company continues to expand its training activities and distributes 600,000 cocoa tree seedlings to support farmers.

Cargill's cocoa and chocolate business has agreed to continue to support Ivorian cocoa farmers and the development of the country's cocoa sector.

Cargill will invest U.S. $3.25 million to develop and expand its farmer-training program and support activities to enable cooperatives to obtain independent UTZ and Rain Forest Alliance certification. This includes a partnership with ANADER, Cote d'Ivoire's national rural development agency, to support farmer training activities and the distribution of 600,000 cocoa tree seedlings to participating cooperatives to help improve and renew existing cocoa farms.

"Cote d'Ivoire remains one of the foremost producers of cocoa in the world, and this agreement strengthens our ongoing commitment to help improve the farming practices and the livelihoods of Ivorian cocoa farmers, as well as support the development of the country's cocoa sector," said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer.

Cargill has been training Ivorian cocoa farmers for more than 10 years and today helps tens of thousands of farmers increase yields, improve quality and adopt more sustainable practices. In 2011/2012 it will train over 60,000 farmers across 90 cooperatives in Cote d'Ivoire through over 1,100 farmer field schools. This training has already enabled 44 farmer cooperatives to achieve independent UTZ certification and this figure will double to 90 certified cooperatives by October 2012.

The intensive 10-month program for cooperatives and their members focuses on farming techniques and post-harvest activities such as pruning, plantation renewal and cocoa fermentation methods. In addition it also stresses broader social aspects, such as the importance of ensuring children's education and HIV awareness.

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