Barry Callebaut is being recognized tonight at the Rainforest Alliance 2013 Annual Gala as the company receives the prestigious “Sustainable Standard-Setter” award. 

barry callebaut farmer
Barry Callebaut has ramped up its farmer training.

In March 2012 the chocolate and cocoa manufacturer ramped up its cocoa sustainability efforts with the initiation of “Cocoa Horizons,” a $42-million cocoa sustainability initiative.

The award recognizes exceptional achievements made by companies in key areas of sustainability and is founded on the principle of "building a world where people and the environment prosper together."

“We are honored to receive such a prestigious award from an organization that shares many of the same values as Barry Callebaut,” says Juergen Steinemann Barry Callebaut’s ceo. “Our ongoing collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance allows us to continue to encourage cocoa-farming practices that are sustainable over the long term.”

Barry Callebaut’s Cocoa Horizons program was launched as part of its decision to make Sustainable Cocoa one of the four pillars of the company’s corporate strategy.

The program’s key goals are to further boost farming productivity in an environment that not only improves the quality of the cocoa, but of the farmers themselves for years to come.

So far, the initiative has initiated numerous programs, such as the cocoa farmer training program put on in partnership with the Rainforest Alliance to help protect the Tai National Park in southwest Cote d’Ivoire.

Key goals of “Cocoa Horizons” have been implemented with the Quality Partner Program, a landmark sustainability project set forth by Barry Callebaut.

Founded in 2005, the program helps train and support cocoa farmers to increase yield and quality of cocoa beans, while simultaneously improving their livelihoods through higher income and improved access to education and basic health care.

More than 30,000 cocoa farmers have already benefited from the QPP and have access to tools to become Rainforest Alliance Certified.

“Contributing to a sustainable cocoa supply chain and proactively engaging in cocoa farming communities is fundamental to our company,” says Steven Retzlaff, president of Global Sourcing & Cocoa. “We applaud the efforts of farmer groups who commit to sustainable agricultural practices and succeed in achieving the criteria to be Rainforest Alliance Certified.”

Along with promoting Rainforest Alliance Certification, Barry Callebaut actively participates in industry initiatives and programs, including the World Cocoa Foundation, The Cocoa Livelihoods Program and the African Cocoa Initiative. The company is also a board member of the International Cocoa Initiative, a foundation established under the Cocoa Industry Protocol.