Cargill, Inc. - Cargill Coop Academy: the Cargill Cocoa Promise

The Unilever Global Development Award, supported by Business Fights Poverty, Shortlisted, 2016

Cargill, Inc. are ensuring a sustainable supply of quality cocoa by supporting local cooperative leaders in Côte d’Ivoire with management training and coaching.

Good for society

  • More than 320 leaders from 80 cooperatives have taken part in Cargill Coop Academy, benefitting more than 60,000 smallholder farmers and their communities.
  • The Coop Academy has built greater visibility and authority for cooperative leaders in their communities, helping them to engage with local government to address challenges.

Good for business

  • Supporting farmers to grow their yields and incomes helps to create strong sustainable communities where Cargill can continue to source high quality cocoa beans.
  • Building the business skills of cooperative leaders helps to reduce key risks for Cargill, such as credit defaults.

CargillMost of the world’s cocoa is grown by 6 to 7 million smallholder farmers who face a number of challenges, including limited access to infrastructure, training or finance. Globally, demand for high quality cocoa is growing at a rate of 2-3% per year. Cargill have launched their Coop Academy to help deliver a sustainable supply of cocoa and chocolate products now and long in the future.

The Coop Academy is a business skills program for cocoa farmer cooperative managers in Côte d’Ivoire. In 2014, 96% of the cocoa Cargill bought in Cote d’Ivoire was bought through cooperatives. Local cooperative leaders receive intensive management training and personalised coaching. New modules are continually being added, including a diversity curriculum to build greater awareness of gender issues among cooperative leaders.

More than 320 leaders from 80 cooperatives have participated in the Cargill Coop Academy so far, benefitting more than 60,000 smallholder farmers and their communities. Supporting farmers to grow their yields and incomes and contribute to their farms as businesses helps to create strong sustainable communities where Cargill can continue to source high quality cocoa beans.

What Cargill's Regional Managing Director said:

“Supporting and strengthening farmer organisations is central to Cargill’s commitment to securing a long-term supply of high quality cocoa and to improving cocoa farmers’ livelihoods. With our Coop Academy program, it is the first time this level and scale of training is offered to the cocoa sector. It provides cooperative leaders with the knowledge to improve the day-to-day running of their coop’s, and crucially enables them to develop the skills to grow their business successfully. Ultimately our customers will significantly benefit from this ground-breaking enterprise to sustain a high-quality supply of cocoa.” - Lionel Soulard, Regional Managing Director, Africa, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate