Our work with communities is enhancing the safety and wellbeing of children and families in cocoa farming areas
We believe that the best way to safeguard the future of cocoa is to improve the livelihoods and wellbeing of both farmers and their communities. Many people in cocoa-growing communities still lack access to the basic resources they need to improve their quality of living. To help strengthen farming communities, we are investing in women’s empowerment, education, health and nutrition to break down barriers to economic empowerment. We want to see farming communities in which children are in school rather than labor, where women have access to income generating activities, and where all members’ basic health and nutrition needs are met.
We look beyond just cocoa to increase the economic resilience of farming communities. Diversification of income enables farmers and their communities to better respond to short-term fluctuations in cocoa profitability. Cocoa is still the most significant income provider in cocoa-growing communities, accounting for more than 75% of the cash income for three quarters of the population1. But when the full range of food production by a household is accounted for, alongside revenue from other crops and income from other professional activities, the dependence on cocoa is reduced to below 60%. By building up additional income streams, communities will be more resilient to fluctuations in cocoa, which will help to improve the supply for our industry.
Our community livelihood programs serve as a catalyst to help farmers and their families become more resilient to the challenges that face many cocoa-growing communities. We strengthen cocoa-growing communities by improving their access to services, including education, health and nutrition. At the same time, we help make local people more aware of the social benefits of improving child protection, sending children to school, and empowering women. These programs result in increased community wellbeing, improved social services and empowered women.
To do it, we are committed to:
- identifying, preventing and ending child labor in our supply chain
- supporting the development of a Community Action Plan (CAP) in all communities where we source cocoa. CAPs will act as a roadmap to accelerate community wellbeing with a focus on child protection, education and healthcare, nutrition, and women’s empowerment
- partnering with community members, non-profits, governments and other stakeholders to provide sustainable development solutions that meet locally defined needs
The importance of shared ownership
We work in close partnership with local people to ensure they feel involved and that we understand what each local community really needs. This understanding is vital because every community is unique. Prior to commencing any activity, we conduct an assessment of the community’s needs and engage farmer organizations to ensure joint input achieves the greatest impact. Together with people in cocoa-growing communities and our partners, we develop and implement bespoke Community Action Plans (CAPs) for each cocoa-growing community. These plans reflect the needs of the community and they are set up, implemented and managed together with community development committees made up of local people.
Our global partnership with CARE
PROSPER: Promoting a Sustainable and Food Secure World, is the current $6 million three-year phase of the CARE-Cargill partnership. It aims to build on the success of previous programs and explore new opportunities to promote a sustainable and food secure world. While programs vary by country, the initiative provides training, skills-development, and market access for farmers; enhanced education and nutritional support for children; and access to social services like health care and safe drinking water, for communities. The partnership aims to take our program approaches to scale by engaging governments, civil society actors, and Cargill business partners in order to reach one million people by 2020.
Progress and highlights
Working with CARE, Cargill has introduced more than 175 community-based savings and loan schemes, known as Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLAs) in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. More than 4,000 people – more than half of whom are women – have accessed small loans which they can use to start and grow businesses, as well as taking care of personal needs such as paying school fees.
145,064 farmers have been trained to understand the worst forms of child labor globally
89,687 beneficiaries, 20,000 of them children provided with education and increased access to healthcare through our Cargill/CARE programs since 2013
98% of children in Cargill/CARE programs in Ghana stayed in school for at least five years
5,653 community members educated on food and nutrition security in Ghana
>14,400 households in Indonesian cocoa farming communities received training to improve their nutritional practices
350,000 people provided with potable drinking water in 17 communities in Cameroon since 2013
1 Cocoa sector study, EMC, Côte d’Ivoire 2015