Initiative builds on other industry efforts to help cocoa farmers respond to coronavirus pandemic
WASHINGTON (May 4, 2020) – Global cocoa and chocolate companies are donating $835,000 to help cocoa farmers and their families fight the spreading coronavirus by supporting the national emergency plans of governments in West Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Coming on top of numerous individual company contributions and help to farmers, most of the money will go to Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the biggest cocoa producers. It will also support health efforts in other major origin countries, including Brazil, Cameroon, Ecuador and Indonesia.
The resources will be directed to leading international relief organizations operating in line with priorities set by the national governments, including CARE, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Lutheran World Relief.
“All of us in the cocoa supply chain are connected, from the cocoa farmer to the chocolate maker. This fund-raising effort shows the cocoa and chocolate industry is united in our goal to help farmers and their families fight the virus and save lives in cocoa-growing communities around the world,” said Richard Scobey, President of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF).
Governments in West Africa, Asia, and Latin America are taking the critical steps to protect their citizens, but their health and social safety net systems need more support. Cocoa-growing communities are particularly at risk since they cannot easily access clean water, health care, and social safety nets.
The global fund-raising effort by companies comes on top of other efforts to fight the virus by the industry. Many of the large cocoa and chocolate companies are making major financial contributions to international relief and humanitarian organizations. These commitments already total hundreds of millions of dollars and are supporting the emergency response around the world.
Many companies have been working for more than a month now with their suppliers to support local relief efforts and help the governments contain the spread of the virus and save lives. In close collaboration with governments and humanitarian relief organizations, companies are donating critical emergency supplies such as soap, sanitizers, clean water equipment, and medical goods. They are broadcasting the government’s health care messages through their farmer communication channels and farmer training platforms. They are distributing copies of government coronavirus posters and other information in rural communities.
More than 30 companies and organizations from around the world contributed to this industrywide response, including Altinmarka, the Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI), August Storck KG, Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate Company, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate, Carletti, Cémoi, Clasen Quality Chocolate, CWT Europe B.V, ECOM, Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd., Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA), German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO), GCB Cocoa, Guittard Chocolate, Intercontinental Exchange, JB Cocoa, Lindt & Sprüngli, Luker Chocolate, Mars Wrigley, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Olam Cocoa, Pit Süßwaren/Becks Cocoa, Ritter Sport, Seattle Chocolate, the Swiss Foundation of the Cocoa and Chocolate Industry, SUCDEN Cocoa, The Hershey Company, Touton S.A., Whittaker’s, and WCF.
The industry response was spearheaded by the Association of Chocolate, Biscuit and Confectionery Industries of Europe (CAOBISCO), BDSI, the European Cocoa Association (ECA), the Federation of Cocoa Commerce (FCC) and WCF.