We help smallholder farmers navigate fluctuating socio-economic and environmental conditions by building their capacity, improving their access to resources and increasing their resilience.
Most of the world’s cocoa is grown on small family farms by smallholder farmers whose livelihoods depend in large part on the income they make from selling cocoa beans. Cocoa is being viewed as one of the most attractive livelihood options in rural communities, yet profitability is subject to a large number of factors, only some of which cocoa farmers and communities can control.
Alongside external factors such as price fluctuations, crop failures, or political instability, that disrupt farming or market access, many farmers struggle with ageing, not optimally-productive trees, lack of diversification and have limited access to the infrastructure, training and finance they need to run their farms as successful businesses.
Through the Cargill Cocoa Promise, we empower farmers to become agriculture entrepreneurs or agripreneurs who can maximize their farm’s profitability and manage their farms as businesses.
At Cargill, we believe that improving the lives of cocoa farmers goes hand-in-hand with our business success. That’s why we are focused on building farmers’ resilience through professional development and training, as well as access to resources.
One million farmers benefiting from the services of the Cargill Cocoa Promise by 2030
Our Farmer Livelihoods Strategic Action Plan lays out how we will achieve this across both our direct and indirect supply chains.
How are we achieving our goal?
We empower farmers to become agripreneurs by building their capacity, improving their access to resources, diversifying their incomes and strengthening socio-economic resilience in cocoa growing households.
We use our Farm Economic Model to understand how cocoa households earn a living. This model estimates livelihoods at a household level by taking account of multiple interrelated factors, such as household size, annual yields, price and input costs. It also includes alternative income-generating activities, such as income from non-cocoa crops or livestock, and off-farm revenue streams.
We also help farmers to implement Farm Development Plans that contribute to higher yields over the long term and we work to professionalize cocoa farming by providing financial and business literacy training. This, coupled with better access to finance, can help farmers to plan ahead and pave the way for long-term success.
Beyond individual farmers, we know that many cocoa farming communities lack access to basic services such as quality education, healthcare and nutrition. We recognize that farmers are more resilient when their communities are too, which is why our efforts to support farmers go hand in hand with our Community Wellbeing programs.
Learn more about our Community Wellbeing goal.
Results from our 2021 sustainability report:
The total number of farmers in the Cargill Cocoa Promise is growing – from 169,893 in 2020, to 244,364 in 2021 globally, this year.
We reached more than 240,000 farmers with training and/or coaching to build their capacity. All Cargill Cocoa Promise farmers received training on good agricultural practices, and a selected group receives targeted coaching.
To increase and diversify farmers’ incomes, we are piloting cash transfer and entrepreneurship models with income diversification support targeting women and youth