The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is launching a $4-million initiative to benefit cocoa farmers in three West African countries.
The announcement comes as part of the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security, which took place ahead of the 2012 G8 Summit.
"WCF and our member companies continue to invest in sub-Saharan Africa and work together with national governments and partners to show our long-term commitment to cocoa farmers in the region," says Bill Guyton, WCF president.
The $4-million initiative comes in the form of a grants program that will provide business training to 35,000 small-scale family farmers in Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, and Cameroon.
The program will be carried out under the WCF’s ongoing Cocoa Livelihoods Program, which is co-funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and 16 leading WCF members.
Founded in 2000, WCF, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, supports programs benefiting farmers in cocoa-growing regions in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Americas. The organization currently has about 70 member companies involved in the cocoa and chocolate industries around the world.