ZURICH, SWITZERLAND–(Marketwire -07/27/12)- Cocoa Horizons initiative accelerates sustainable cocoa production

* More than 15,000 cocoa farmers trained in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)

* All cocoa-growing regions in Côte d’Ivoire are represented

* Farmers earn a premium for Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa

Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, has trained 15,000 cocoa farmers from 50 farmer cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire in sustainable cocoa production, enabling them to become independently certified by Rainforest Alliance. The cooperatives are located throughout Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa production belt, with the majority located in Bas-Sassandra, the country’s biggest cocoa-producing region today.

Barry Callebaut pays the cooperatives a premium for the certified beans. Participating farmers receive half of the premium with the other half retained by the cooperative and used to provide services to its farmer members or for community facilities.

“We see great potential for more farmers to participate in certification training activities — including existing coop members as well as potential new members — once they see how their neighbors’ efforts pay off,” said Anke Massart, Project Manager Cocoa Horizons in Côte d’Ivoire. “Farms are more productive, families are healthier because of the focus on safety and farmers earn a premium for their certified beans. Plus, Barry Callebaut, with its years of engagement with farmers in the region, is a reliable and long-term partner for coops who are making the commitment to grow cocoa in a sustainable way.”

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