One of the top food trends in 2013, according to Innova Market Insights’ research, was the prevalence of the aware shopper. These consumers are more educated about the nutritional characteristics of their food and its origin. They are more concerned about the environment and ethical positioning such as Fair Trade. These consumers like to make purchases they can feel good about in every facet: nutrition, sustainability and cost.
Chocolate suppliers have responded to this — and the threat of a cocoa shortage — by setting up programs that will help cocoa farming become more sustainable and profitable at the agricultural level.
Cargill’s Cocoa Promise campaign supports a sustainable supply chain by focusing on three areas: farmer training, community support and farm development. The company works with local partners in cocoa-growing communities to train farmers to increase yield. In supporting communities, Cargill offers access to education and healthcare and reinforces the infrastructure to preserve the environment, regenerate farmland and make it easier to ship cocoa out of the area. The program focuses on the cocoa supply chain in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Vietnam, Indonesia and Brazil.
Barry Callebaut’s Cocoa Horizons program supports the company’s focus on sustainable cocoa. The company works to improve farm productivity and improve farmers’ livelihoods during the next 10 years. The Quality Partner Program under Cocoa Horizons trains and supports cocoa farmers in an effort to increase their cocoa yield and quality while improving their access to education, healthcare and higher incomes.