Callebaut's Growing Great Chocolate Program

Following on from our recent post focusing on what constitutes Fair Trade, this week’s blog post will talk about Callebaut’s extraordinary Growing Great Chocolate Program.

Along with the fact Callebaut produces incredibly delicious couverture chocolate, one of the reasons we chose their callets to use in our Hot Choccy products is because of the work they do with cocoa farmers in West Africa. The program is designed to work with cocoa farmer cooperatives to produce good quality sustainably grown cocoa, and increase the earnings of the 60 participating cooperatives (approx. 40,000 farmers).

So how do they do this?

In recent times, factors such as deteriorating soil, aging cocoa trees and farmers, and sub-standard farming practices has led to a decline in cocoa production. As such, Callebaut has begun working directly with the farmers to educate them on best farming practices, thus increasing the quality of the crops. In these farmer schools they are taught the complex processes involved in cocoa harvesting, including soil management, bean fermentation and drying.

And because Callebaut work directly with the farmers, they also pay a fair price directly to them for their crops, cutting out the middle man who (generally speaking) didn’t pay the farmers a fair price for their beans.

As a result of this partnership between Callebaut and the participating cooperatives, not only has the quality and quantity of cocoa production increased, but so has the living standards of the farmers and their families.