ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Barry Callebaut has launched an agronomic research program in Malaysia that aims to yield insights into practical measures for boosting the sustainability, productivity and quality of cocoa production. Zurich-based Barry Callebaut will conduct the program in collaboration with the Malaysian company Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad. The program will cover 10 hectares, or about 25 acres, of an existing cocoa plantation.

The program will test new pruning and grafting techniques, the use of organic fertilizers, other organic cultivation techniques and agro-forestry principles.

“Securing the future of the cocoa industry demands that we find more sustainable cultivation methods now,” said Hans Vriens, chief innovation officer for Barry Callebaut. “This important program is proving key to our overarching goal of boosting the viability of cocoa production by improving both quality and productivity and, by doing so, increasing incomes for local farmers and their communities.”