On Monday, June 4, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products 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 will also work to make cocoa cultivation more attractive to women cocoa farmers and young cocoa farmers, while cooperating on community-led engagement towards the eradication of the worst forms of child labor. 

“This letter of intent is an important step towards the design of a new model for sustainable cocoa farming. 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,” says Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut.

“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,” says Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive of COCOBOD.