The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) today welcomed five new company members to the foundation and announced the start of three new projects in Côte d'Ivoire, the world's largest cocoa-producing country. The announcements were made during the welcoming remarks of WCF's 17th Partnership Meeting & Roundtable Sessions in Utrecht.
The World Cocoa Foundation announced that five companies have joined the foundation since October 2009. The new member companies are: CEMOI, Comercial Roig CxA, Puratos, Ralcorp Holdings Inc., and Safmarine Container Lines N.V.
'Over the past ten years, WCF has provided a unique platform for cocoa and chocolate companies to come together at a pre‐competitive level in order to solve challenges faced by the world's cocoa‐growing communities,' said WCF Chairman Kip Walk of Blommer Chocolate Company, 'We welcome these new members in joining us in this endeavor.'
The foundation also announced the start of three new projects in Côte d'Ivoire to address farmers' health, safety and research needs. The first World Cocoa Foundation grant is to the Association pour la Promotion de la Santé de la Femme, de la Mère, de l'Enfant et de la Famille (APROSAM ‐ Association for the Promotion of Health of Women, Mothers, Children and Families), an Ivoirian non‐governmental organization, to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS, malaria and sexually transmitted infections. The project will train and support peer educators in 15 cocoa‐growing communities to address these important health issues with farmers and their families.
The second and third grants are supported through the Swedish Chocolate, Confectionery and Biscuit Manufacturers' Association (CHOKOFA). CHOKOFA is supporting two one‐year challenge grant projects with the Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA), Côte d'Ivoire's national agricultural research institute. One of these projects is developing extension materials and radio messages on integrated pest management. The other project will build closer ties between farmers and the research institute in order to promote farmers' adoption of improved, higher‐yielding planting material and other research developments.
'These new projects fit well into our sustainability principles of 'profit, people, and planet',' said WCF President Bill Guyton, 'Through programs centered around these principles, we have already reached over 420,000 farmers. This year, we are beginning an initiative to develop common indicators based on our sustainability principles and goals. Once completed, these indicators will help us better evaluate cocoa-related programs and identify successful approaches.'
About the World Cocoa Foundation
Established in 2000, the World Cocoa Foundation is a leader in promoting economic and social development and environmental stewardship in 15 cocoa producing countries around the world. With over 70 member companies from the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, the Foundation actively supports a range of farm‐level programs harnessing sustainable agriculture practices to improve the quality of life for the millions of smallholder farmers growing this unique crop. For more information about the World Cocoa Foundation, visit: www.worldcocoafoundation.org.