Bridging the gap towards a living income for the Cacao-Trace farmer community In Ivory Coast.

4 Jun 2020

As an active partner of the Belgian ‘Beyond Chocolate’ initiative, Belcolade (Puratos) is strongly committed to continue its efforts to end deforestation related to cocoa and to strive for a living income for cocoa growers.  

The Belgian government has put available a budget to fund sustainability projects with strong impact for the farmers. We are extremely proud to say that, during the latest general Assembly of Beyond Chocolate on May 28, two projects involving Cacao-Trace (Puratos’ sustainable cocoa sourcing programme) have been selected.   We are happy to be able to implement these projects in collaboration with a selection of Belgian and local partners. 

All together, we accepted the challenge to further explore  how to optimally organize a sustainable cocoa production in West-Africa, by enabling a living income for farmer households and implementing sustainable agricultural practices.

Project 1: A Living Income for cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast through Organic conversion.

Organic is an important trend in the market which can bring an extra revenue to the farmers.  This being said, the conversion from conventional agriculture towards organic agriculture is a real challenge and involves a significant budget This project aims to secure a living income for 1000 Cacao-Trace and Fairtrade farmers by supporting the conversion into a proven model of sustainable organic production. The project aims to design, test, and roll out the model to support Ivorian farmers to access premium markets, addressing nutrition, productivity and pest control elements.  Fairtrade Belgium and Belvas, an existing Cacao-Trace chocolate customer with a strong experience in the organic chocolate market, are important partners in the project. As the project grows, more chocolatiers and retailers will be encouraged to join the chain so that the organic community can grow, as well as the impact on the local community.

(Lead Partner: Puratos NV. Other project Partners: Fairtrade Belgium, Belvas SA, Entreprise Coopérative de Saint-Paul (ECSP))

Project 2: A Living Income for cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast: a chainwide collaboration to move from concept to reality.  

This is a pilot project, with as lead partner the Colruyt Group, that has as its goal to bring a living income for cocoa growers in Ivory Coast from concept to reality, contributing to securing long-lasting improvements to the living conditions and environment of 102 cocoa growing households. 
This project is built on the premise that, for cocoa growing families to achieve and sustainably maintain a living income, it is not sufficient to simply pay a higher price. Therefore, this project will adopt an integrated approach and will invest equally in enabling and stimulating cocoa growers to become entrepreneurs, allowing them to achieve an income from the cocoa they grow and from other farm activities as well as other viable enterprises. This ensures the sustainability of the project in the long run. 

(Lead partner: Colruyt group.  Other project partners: Puratos, Rikolto, Fairtrade Belgium, Ghent University, Agro-Insight, Access Agriculture, Entreprise Coopérative de Saint Paul)

Find more information on the Beyond Chocolate initiative and the full list of selected projects


About Cacao-Trace

With Cacao-Trace, Belcolade (Puratos) installed a game-changing approach to truly sustainable cocoa sourcing, by focusing on exceptional taste. Next to high-quality beans (for which a community of already more than 8000 farmers is extensively trained), the key to creating superior tasting chocolate is in the fermentation.   Thanks to a unique international network of post-harvest centers, we are able to fully control this process. The extra value created by this unique qualitative approach, is the only way to have a real lifechanging impact on cocoa farmers.  More info on Cacao-Trace