Marking the close of its first formal season and now working alongside over 41,900 farmers, GrowCocoa, the independently operated joint venture representing the sustainability interests of Blommer Chocolate Co. and Olam International, has released its first report outlining accomplishments in Côte d’Ivoire and Indonesia.
Formalized as a joint venture in 2012, the Washington, D.C.-based GrowCocoa ensures the continued and regular engagement with for and not-for-profit and national and international institutions that share the sustainability and livelihoods vision of Blommer and Olam. As North America’s largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier, Blommer first collaborated with Olam International, the leading global agri-business supplier, in Indonesia in 2004.
Since inception, the partnership has ensured improved access to healthcare for more than 29,000 community members. So far the social infrastructure projects have included two dispensaries, a maternity ward, a medical laboratory, and three schools offering 450 children access to education.
Now centralized under GrowCocoa, the partnership reports the following highlights for the 2012–2013 season:
- 31,600 farmers trained in Good Agricultural Practices and Integrated Pest Management
- 329 cooperative managers trained in efficient budgeting and cost control systems, administration, documentation, and archiving
- 564,000 seedlings distributed
- Purchase volume of over 54,000 metric tons
- $9.1 million in premiums awarded to farmers and farmer associations