ZURICH, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwired - May 7, 2013) -
Barry Callebaut /Barry Callebaut inaugurates new rural primary schools and communitylearningcenters in Côte d'Ivoire.
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Promoting education in cocoa farming communities
* Barry Callebaut completes construction of two new rural primary schoolsand community learning centers to serve cocoa farmer families
* Work underway with development experts and community members toestablish school food programs and provide child labor sensitization activities
* Project recognized as contributing to the elimination of child labor inCôte d'Ivoire
Barry Callebaut, the world's leadingmanufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, recentlyinauguratedtwo new rural primary schools and community learning centers in Côted'Ivoire.Since 2010 the company has funded the construction of seven primary schoolsinCôte d'Ivoire, providing a total to date of 21 furnished classrooms toenableover 1,000 children in rural cocoa growing areas to attend school.
Barry Callebaut's latest educational infrastructure projects in Côted'Ivoirewere completed in the villages of Mossi Carrefour, located south of Divo,and inDjahakro, located northeast of San Pedro. Several thousand cocoa farmersandtheir families live in the villages and surrounding areas, and more than900 aremembers of cooperatives that have participated in Barry Callebaut's QualityPartner Program for over five years. Through its Quality Partner Program,established in 2005, Barry Callebaut works to advance sustainable cocoaproduction and improve farmer livelihoods.
The new schools in Mossi Carrefour and Djahakro were inaugurated on March13, 2013, and April 9, 2013, respectively. Community members includingfarmersand management staff of the cooperatives, as well as village chiefs andelders,local government officials and representatives of the Education Ministryparticipated in the inauguration events hosted by Barry Callebaut.
"The construction of new primary classrooms to meet the needs of ruralcommunities, in particular in cocoa growing areas, is of great importanceto theMinistry of Education in Côte d'Ivoire. Making quality schoolsavailable is oneof the most effective ways to combat the issue of child labor, and we aregrateful for the contribution to this effort made by Barry Callebaut," saidMrs.Kandia Camara, Minister of National Education and Technical Education inCôted'Ivoire.
The project, which is part of Barry Callebaut's USD 42 million CocoaHorizonsglobal sustainability initiative, represents an investment commitment ofUSD300,000 over three years and includes the provision of infrastructure andcommunity-driven curriculum in two rural cocoa farming communities with acombined population of more than 11,000.
"Our goal is for the school facility to evolve into a community learningcenterand to serve as a focal point in the village," said Paul De Petter, VPCocoaAfrica at Barry Callebaut. "We are proud to be working in partnership withthelocal cooperative and farmers to help meet their urgent needs foreducationalfacilities for their primary school-age children. By providing well-builtaccommodations for teachers, as well as school facilities, we also aim tohelpthese remote farming communities attract and retain qualified teachers."
The infrastructure elements include a furnished and equipped schoolbuildingwith three classrooms and an office for teachers, separate latrines forboys andgirls, solar panels for lighting, a school canteen, a teacher housing unitwiththree two-room apartments, and a community water well. The curriculumcomponents, being developed with local NGOs and the International CocoaInitiative (ICI), will include child labor sensitization activities andagricultural and business skills training to enable women to run and manageaschool food program.
"While we have worked already with five other communities in remote cocoagrowing areas to build primary schools and other infrastructure, this isthefirst time Barry Callebaut is implementing a combined approach integratinginfrastructure and curriculum for community members," said Marina Morari,Manager Corporate Social Responsibility, Global Sourcing & Cocoa, at BarryCallebaut. "We will be monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of thecombined approach to determine the opportunities for expansion toadditionalcommunities."
The construction of the schools, fully funded by Barry Callebaut, is partof athree-year project that has been recognized as contributing to theeliminationof the worst forms of child labor by the Child Labor Cocoa CoordinatingGroup(CLCCG). The CLCCG is the steering group for the "Framework of Action toSupportthe Implementation of the Harkin-Engel Protocol," a commitment by multiplestakeholders to reduce the worst forms of child labor in the cocoa sectorsinCôte d'Ivoire and Ghana by 70 percent in aggregate by 2020. Members ofthe CLCCGinclude U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, U.S. Representative Eliot Engel andrepresentatives from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Government ofCôted'Ivoire, the Government of Ghana, and the international chocolate andcocoaindustry.
Barry Callebaut (www.barry-callebaut.com):
With annual sales of about CHF 4.8 billion (EUR 4.0 billion / USD 5.2billion)in fiscal year 2011/12, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world's leadingmanufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate - from the cocoa bean tothefinest chocolate product. Barry Callebaut operates out of 30 countries,runsmore than 45 production facilities and employs a diverse and dedicatedworkforceof about 6,000 people. Barry Callebaut serves the entire food industryfocusingon industrial food manufacturers, artisans and professional users ofchocolate(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 CocoaHorizonsinitiative and research activities, the company engages with farmers,farmerorganizations and other partners to help ensure future supplies of cocoaandimprove farmer livelihoods.
The complete news release and various images can be downloaded from thefollowing links:
Mossi Carrefour Inauguration 1:http://hugin.info/100441/R/1699413/560922.jpg
Mossi Carrefour Inauguration 2:http://hugin.info/100441/R/1699413/560923.jpg
Mossi Carrefour Inauguration 3:http://hugin.info/100441/R/1699413/560925.jpg
Djahakro Inauguration 1:http://hugin.info/100441/R/1699413/560915.jpg
Djahakro Inauguration 2:http://hugin.info/100441/R/1699413/560916.jpg
News Release (PDF):http://hugin.info/100441/R/1699413/560593.pdf
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Source: Barry Callebaut via Thomson Reuters ONE
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