Accra, Ghana — Since establishing its own licensed buying company (LBC) in Ghana during 2016, Cargill, Inc. has doubled the amount of sustainable cocoa it sources from the country and more than 13,000 farmers are benefiting from the initiative, according to the supplier.
Under the LBC model, Cargill sources and purchases cocoa directly from certified farmers, building strong relationships with growers and their communities.
The company has also made a second sustainable premium payment of $870,000, which represent the highest payment per bag of certified cocoa in the industry for the 2017/18 crop season in Ghana, Cargill claims. Half of those payments go directly to farmers to increase productivity and invest in projects such as crop financing and protection, distribution of fertilizer and infrastructure improvements. The remaining portion is used by the wider cocoa-growing community to support education, healthcare and women empowerment initiatives.
A rarity in the Ghana market, Cargill’s LBC is fully e-money enabled, allowing the supplier to pay farmers directly through electronic transfers, ensuring the money reaches growers swiftly and accurately, according to the company.
“It is our hope that our electronic payment model, which has proven to benefit the farmers, will help encourage the government to fulfill its vision of a cashless economy,” say Pieter Reichert, managing direct of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in Ghana. “Farmers are recognizing that, as well as a higher income, our approach offers them a wide range of support services to help them improve the quality and quantity of cocoa beans produced.”