Cargill and IFC announce Coop Academy 2.0 to empower cocoa producing cooperatives
Renewed partnership expands reach of management, operational and digital training for cooperative leaders and female entrepreneurs
(Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire) September 26, 2019 – Cargill and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have renewed their partnership, allowing the organizations to introduce new initiatives to strengthen cocoa producing cooperatives and their communities, including Coop Academy 2.0. The renewed partnership will add 40 additional cooperatives to the academy, bringing the total to 120 cooperatives reached through training and tools to improve their cocoa business, improve sustainability and increase profitability.
The Cargill Coop Academy, first established in 2013, was the first of its kind in the cocoa sector. The model provides cooperative leaders with the management skills to improve daily operations of their organizations, leading to a more professional, efficient and successful business. In 2014, Cargill partnered with IFC and others to scale the program to reach over 350 cooperative leaders.
Lionel Soulard, managing director of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate in West Africa, said “The cooperative model has proven to be an exceptional method to bring cocoa farmers and their communities lasting benefits. By gaining invaluable skills and tools to professionalize their business, we see them independently driving impactful sustainability projects that bring meaningful change to their communities and the cocoa sector at large.”
The renewed partnership, supported by the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), will introduce an improved Coop Academy 2.0 program. An additional 40 cooperatives, will have access to training in capacity building, management and governance, adding to the 80 cooperatives already enrolled in the program will feature updated training with an even stronger focus on digitalization and traceability, based on learnings from the first phase, to provide cooperatives stronger data and analytics to inform critical business decisions. The digital program will provide 35,250 farmers with access to a digital payments platform, enabling utilization and access to digital financial services. Measurement and benchmarking, using a tool developed by IFC and SCOPEInsight, an independent agricultural assessment agency, will measure the impact and increase business opportunities for over 125,000 farmers. It will benchmark activities such as operations, sustainability, financial and internal management, with the purpose of assessing how increased leadership capacity results in improved management of the cooperatives. Cargill is using digital technologies like these to strengthen the transparency of its own cocoa supply chain.
Coop Academy 2.0 is also adding training and support fully dedicated to women’s groups, with the aim of coaching 250 women leaders. The initiative will also include tools and resources to help 3,000 women setup income-generating activities, to raise the earning potential of their families and build the economic viability of their community.
Aliou Maiga, IFC Director for West and Central Africa, said, “Through our partnership with Cargill, IFC is committed to the long-term growth and sustainability of Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa industry. This program deepens our support for smallholder farmers and helps introduce agricultural best practices and innovative financial services to help Cote d’Ivoire remain the world’s top cocoa producer.”
Partnerships like the Cargill-IFC initiative are imperative to create a more sustainable cocoa supply chain. These efforts are part of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate’s Transformation, Together ambition, using the power of partnerships to achieve our sustainability targets and accelerate sector transformation in a way that could not be done alone.
Cargill’s 155,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 155 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture.
About Cargill’s global cocoa and chocolate business
Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business offers the food industry a wide range of both standard and customized cocoa and chocolate ingredients for use in delicious bakery, confectionery and dairy applications all over the world. The company’s product range includes high quality Gerkens® cocoa powders, chocolate, coatings, fillings, cocoa liquors and cocoa butters. With years of experience in technical food expertise Cargill supports its customers in new recipes and new product development.
Cargill’s processing plants in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, the Netherlands, UK and the USA are in full compliance with the highest food safety standards.
To secure a good quality and sustainable supply of cocoa beans, Cargill has its own cocoa bean sourcing operations for buying, handling and exporting of cocoa beans in Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia. Presence in all the leading producing countries allows Cargill to oversee the supply chain from beans at origin to cocoa and chocolate products on its customers’ doorsteps. In addition, extensive market research and analysis proves to be a source of valuable information to customers.
More information is available at www.cargillcocoachocolate.com/
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We
work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information,visit https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/corp_ext_content/ifc_external_corporate_site/home.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) is a multi-donor global program focused on increasing agricultural productivity for smallholders as a way to reduce poverty and increase food and nutrition security. The GAFSP Private Sector Window, managed by IFC, provides long- and short-term loans, credit guarantees, and equity as well as technical assistance to private sector companies and financial intermediaries in eligible IDA countries to improve productivity growth, deepen farmer’s links to markets and access to finance and increase capacity and technical skills. It is supported by the governments of Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.