ZURICH, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwire -06/29/12)-
Barry Callebaut AG /
Barry Callebaut breaks ground at its first Center of Cocoa Excellence inWestAfrica
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Cocoa Horizons sustainability initiative at work
* New CHF 1 million training and research center to be operational from October 2012
* "Showcase Farm" will be used to test state-of-the-art intercropping Approaches
* Cocoa farmers will receive training in grafting and farm regeneration techniques to increase crop yields
Barry Callebaut, the world's leadingmanufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, announced it isestablishing a CHF 1 million (EUR 833,000 / USD 1.05 million) Center ofCocoaExcellence to promote advanced agricultural techniques in Côted'Ivoire, theworld's largest cocoa producing country. The Center will include trainingfacilities for farmers and a 30-hectare "showcase farm" to demonstratestate-of-the-art intercropping techniques and other yield enhancementpractices such asgrafting to rejuvenate aging cocoa farms and double farm productivity.
The Center of Cocoa Excellence will be situated in Pacobo in the DepartmentofTiassalé in the south-central cocoa growing area of Côted'Ivoire. A cornerstoneof Barry Callebaut's "Cocoa Horizons" global sustainability initiative, theCenter is scheduled to be operational from October 2012.
The "showcase farm" will comprise about 30 hectares, ten of which will beplanted this year starting in June. Barry Callebaut will use the farm totestdifferent approaches for growing cocoa with other crops. The company isbuildingon its prior experience with intercropping of compatible plants to improveproductivity and biodiversity. Since 2010 Barry Callebaut has supported alocalproject in the region to demonstrate optimal methods of intercroppingcocoa,banana and rubber with the goal of improving yields per hectare.
Some of the crops that will be planted alongside cocoa trees on the"showcasefarm" include: plantain, coconut, mango, pineapple, beans and maize, aswell asrubber and others. Shade trees will also be planted.
"This effort reflects the importance of promoting biodiversity - plantingotherfood crops and shade trees in addition to cocoa - on smallholder farms,"saidAnke Massart, Project Leader Cocoa Horizons in Côte d'Ivoire. "Anabundantvariety of plants and trees simulates the natural diversity found in therainforest and results in a healthy ecosystem. This, in turn, means moreproductive cocoa trees."
In addition to the environmental benefits, planting other food crops andtreestogether with cocoa also directly benefits farmers and their families byproviding variety to the family diet as well as creating additional sourcesofincome to complement the earnings from cocoa.
Barry Callebaut's Center of Cocoa Excellence as well as five planned FarmerAcademies will be located in important cocoa-growing regions of Ivory Coastaspart of the company's Cocoa Horizons initiative. Cocoa Horizons defines aportfolio of yield enhancement techniques aimed at increasing the yieldsperhectare and quality of cocoa grown by smallholder farmers. Theseinnovativeapproaches are essential to ensure future supplies of quality cocoa andimprovedlivelihoods for farmers and their families.
In addition to the "showcase farm," the Center of Cocoa Excellence willalsoinclude a building with a classroom, nurseries of cocoa and shade trees aswellas fermentation and drying facilities. From October, the Center at Pacobowilloffer training to selected farmers from about 20 cooperatives currentlyparticipating in BC's sustainability and certification activities.
Barry Callebaut (www.barry-callebaut.com):
With annual sales of about CHF 4.6 billion (EUR 3.6 billion/USD 5.0billion) forfiscal year 2010/11, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world's leadingmanufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate - from the cocoa bean tothefinished chocolate product. Barry Callebaut is present in 27 countries,operatesaround 40 production facilities and employs a diverse and dedicatedworkforce ofabout 6,000 people. Barry Callebaut serves the entire food industryfocusing onindustrial food manufacturers, artisans and professional users of chocolate(such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), the latter with its twoglobalbrands Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®. Barry Callebaut is the globalleader incocoa and chocolate innovations and provides a comprehensive range ofservicesin the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing.Costleadership is another important reason why global as well as local foodmanufacturers work together with Barry Callebaut. Through its broad rangeofsustainability initiatives and research activities, the company works withfarmers, farmer organizations and other partners to help ensure futuresuppliesof cocoa and improve farmer livelihoods.
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Source: Barry Callebaut AG via Thomson Reuters ONE[HUG#1622761]
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