ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Barry Callebaut on June 4 signed an agreement to intensify the cooperation on sustainable cocoa farming.

Barry Callebaut and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) have decided to work collaboratively on the design and validation of a sustainable cocoa farming model. More specifically, the two will focus on the clearing and replanting of cocoa trees infected with the swollen-shoot virus (CSSV) disease.

Additionally, Barry Callebaut and COCOBOD will give attention to income diversification for cocoa farmers and the planting of shade trees. They also will work to make cocoa cultivation more attractive to female cocoa farmers and young cocoa farmers, while cooperating on community-led engagement toward the eradication of the worst forms of child labor.

“This letter of intent is an important step toward the design of a new model for sustainable cocoa farming,” said Antonie de Saint-Affrique, chief executive officer of Barry Callebaut. “Combining the expertise and resources on the ground of both the COCOBOD and Barry Callebaut will lead to more impactful interventions and accelerate the progress towards a sustainable cocoa farming sector in Ghana, the second largest cocoa producer in the world.”

Joseph Boahen Aidoo, c.e.o. of COCOBOD, added, “Through the clearing of CSSV infected cocoa trees, we have the opportunity to further ensure a sustainable cocoa farming model in Ghana whilst exploring agroforestry at the same time, by replanting the cleared areas with young cocoa trees, shade trees and additional crops to diversify the income of Ghanaian cocoa farmers.”