Barry Callebaut leads cocoa farmer training program in joint initiative with the Rainforest Alliance to help protect Tai National Park in Cote d'Ivoire


ZURICH, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwired - Apr 3, 2013) -

Barry Callebaut /Barry Callebaut leads cocoa farmer training program in joint initiativewith theRainforest Alliance to help protect Taï National Park in Côted'Ivoire. Processed and transmitted by Thomson Reuters ONE.The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Working with communities to promote biodiversity conservation

* Initiative brings together experts and rural cocoa farming communitiesto expand use of sustainable agriculture and conserve biodiversity

* Parties aim to develop long-term solutions for preventing furtherdegradation of rainforest and fragile ecosystems near Taï NationalPark

* Barry Callebaut is training farmer groups neighboring the park inSustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) standards and on improving farmproductivity

Barry Callebaut, the world's leadingmanufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, is participatingin ajoint sustainability initiative with the Rainforest Alliance, other expertsindevelopment and environmental and wildlife protection, and the nationalofficeof parks and reserves to protect the Taï National Park in southwestCôted'Ivoire.

The park is one of the last major remnants of the vast primary tropicalforestthat once spanned across present-day Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia andSierraLeone, and is the largest island of forest remaining in West Africa,accordingto the UNESCO World Heritage Center. It is noted for its population ofendangered pygmy hippopotamus, 11 species of monkeys and 1,300 species ofhigherplants.

As part of a comprehensive multi-stakeholder initiative to conserve theforest'sbiodiversity, cocoa farmers in the rural areas bordering the park are beingoffered training in sustainable cocoa production. Barry Callebaut, whichhasworked with cocoa farmers and cooperatives in Côte d'Ivoire since2005, isconducting the training program that will enable approximately 2,000farmersfrom five cooperatives to comply with the environmental, social andeconomiccriteria defined by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) standards andbecome Rainforest Alliance Certified™.

In cooperation with the Rainforest Alliance, Barry Callebaut is alsoestablishing nurseries for indigenous shade trees, launching a treeplantingprogram, creating nurseries for cocoa seedlings, and setting updemonstrationplots to showcase good agricultural practices.

The training program, part of Barry Callebaut's Cocoa Horizons global cocoasustainability initiative, comprises agricultural training for farmers andbusiness and administrative skills training for the management personnel oftherespective cooperatives. Agricultural training takes place in Farmer FieldSchools (FFS), a methodology that facilitates adult learning on goodagricultural practices and environmental protection through participantinteraction and demonstrations. In addition to business training, thecooperatives also receive support in setting up internal management systemsrequired to qualify for Rainforest Alliance independent certification.BarryCallebaut's in-house certification team, based in Côte d'Ivoire, isconductingthe training of lead farmers alongside qualified lead trainers accreditedby theRainforest Alliance.

"We are very encouraged by the strong interest shown by farmersparticipating inthe training activities, which underscores our shared commitment tosustainablecocoa production and the protection of the rich diversity of wildlife andplantspecies unique to this important geographic region," said Anke Massart,ProjectManager Cocoa Horizons in Côte d'Ivoire.

One of the auditors of the program, Mélanie Bayo-Sirima, said, "I amproud as anIvorian to be personally involved in the protection of those landscapesessential for the ecological balance of the Western Region. I have no doubtarational management of natural resources by involving communities can alsoimprove the standard of living of cocoa farmers and their families."

In addition to the Rainforest Alliance and Barry Callebaut, the otherparties inthe joint initiative are Centre d'Etudes, Formations, Conseils, Audits(CEFCA);Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ);WildChimpanzee Foundation (WCF); and the Office Ivoirien des Parcs etRéserves(OIPR). CEFCA, a not-for-profit nongovernmental environmental organization,hasimplemented several Rainforest Alliance technical assistance projects inCôted'Ivoire. GIZ has promoted sustainable projects and worked with the park'smanagement body since the mid-1990s. The Wild Chimpanzee Foundation,created in2000, aims to protect the key chimpanzee population in West Africa. OIPRhasbeen responsible for the sustainable management of the park since 2002.

"We are pleased to be working with this distinguished and committed groupofexperts to help find long-term solutions for preventing further degradationtoareas in and near the park and to expand the use of sustainable agriculturethrough a focus on productivity improvements and biodiversityconservation,"said Nicholas Camu, Group Manager Cocoa Horizons at Barry Callebaut.

Barry Callebaut's Cocoa Horizons initiative, announced in March 2012, is a10-year CHF 40 million program to boost farm productivity, increase cocoaqualityand improve family livelihoods in a sustainable way. Barry Callebaut isfocusingfirst on large producer countries including Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana,Indonesia,Cameroon and Brazil, and aims to expand the initiative to other cocoaproducingcountries with high development potential. Cocoa Horizons builds on BarryCallebaut's proven Quality Partner Program (QPP) with cocoa farmercooperatives,launched in Cote d'Ivoire in 2005 and replicated in Cameroon in 2010.


Barry Callebaut (

With annual sales of about CHF 4.8 billion (EUR 4.0 billion / USD 5.2billion)for fiscal year 2011/12, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world'sleadingmanufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate - from the cocoa bean tothefinest chocolate product. Barry Callebaut is present in 30 countries,operatesaround 45 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.


The complete news release and various images can be downloaded from thefollowing links:

Map Tai National Park (Source: African Natural Heritage website, 2013):

Farmer Field School_Photo 3:

Map Tai National Park (Source: Google Maps, 2013):

Farmer Field School_Photo 2:

Farmer Field School_Photo 1:

Farmer Field School_Photo 4:

News release (PDF):

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