The U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) has awarded its 2010 International Community Service award to Cargill for its work to improve the livelihoods for cocoa farmers and their families in Africa, Asia and South America.
"This is a great example of the way Cargill goes above and beyond the call of duty, wherever it does business, and is one of the keys to its success and sustainability," said U.S. Chamber BCLC Executive Director Stephen Jordan. "Cargill's support for cocoa farmers illustrates how it does well by doing good. That's why we're proud to honor Cargill with the 2010 International Community Service Award."
The International Community Service award recognizes an honoree for contributing to positive economic and social development in a country outside the United States.
"We're honored to have our efforts to raise living standards and strengthen communities recognized by the U.S. Chamber," said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer, accepting the award at the 11th Annual BCLC Corporate Citizenship Awards dinner held Nov. 30, in Washington, D.C. "We want to acknowledge, as well, our partners in these efforts. Partnering with non-governmental organizations, local governments, customers and industry magnifies our efforts to enrich rural communities."
Cargill is a major originator and processor of cocoa beans and producer of high quality chocolate. The company is training thousands of farmers in better agricultural practices in Brazil, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia and Vietnam in order to improve incomes and, as the result, the standard of living for farm families.
The company currently coordinates 300 Farmer Field Schools in Cote d'Ivoire. More than 25,000 farmers will participate in various Cargill-supported training programs this year. The efforts will expand to support tens of thousands of more farmers over coming years as part of a three-year, $5-million commitment to support sustainable cocoa in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana.
The Farmer Training Schools are also enabling farmer cooperatives to achieve UTZ Certification in Cote d' Ivoire, which helps small-scale farmers improve agricultural, environmental and social practices in cocoa production. The UTZ Certified cocoa program was co-founded by Cargill, along with the Dutch development organization, Solidaridad, and others in the cocoa sector to help ensure that cocoa is grown sustainably