|Community members gather around a presentation at Barry Callebaut's Horizon Truck. Photo provided by Barry Callebaut.|
The Barry Callebaut Group’s Cocoa Horizons Truck, created to bring farmer training directly to the cocoa farmers, has passed the symbolic milestone. It recently hit the 10,000 km mark — less than a year after the start of its journey into remote cocoa-growing areas of Côte d’Ivoire.
During that time it’s also reached 33,000 participants.
The truck passed the 10,000 km mark between the villages of Obrouayo and N’Drikro, in southwestern Côte d’Ivoire last week.
The Cocoa Horizons Truck is equipped with modern communication material powered by solar energy.
It also acts as a stage where Barry Callebaut’s own training experts animate farmer training sessions in good agricultural practices, literacy training and child labor sensitization programs, in addition to evening entertainment.
“The topics are very diverse, presented in a way that is both easy to understand and fun. During an event, the enthusiasm spreads across the crowd and makes the message stick in the heart and mind of the audience.”
— Hervé Beerens, responsible at Barry Callebaut for the Cocoa Horizons Truck project.
Where needed, a nurse is also on board to provide basic health care, such as medical consultations and common medicines. More than 4,000 people have already benefited from such a medical visit.
Hervé Beerens, responsible at Barry Callebaut for the Cocoa Horizons Truck project, explains why the truck is so popular:
“The shows are accessible to everyone and we welcome every member of the village, men and women, young and old,” Beerens says. “The topics are very diverse, presented in a way that is both easy to understand and fun. During an event, the enthusiasm spreads across the crowd and makes the message stick in the heart and mind of the audience.”
The truck supports the impact and adoption of Barry Callebaut’s sustainability programs. It is part of the Group’s 10-year Cocoa Horizons sustainability initiative that includes a Cocoa Centre of Excellence, 23 model farms and 550 farmer field schools, all of which cascade training to tens of thousands of cocoa farmers across Côte d’Ivoire.
“As part of our Cocoa Horizons activities in Côte d’Ivoire, we have more than 30 Barry Callebaut employees on the ground who are directly working with more than 30,000 farmers,” says Anke Massart, Barry Callebaut’s general manager, Cocoa Horizons. “With the Cocoa Horizons Truck, we have scaled up our activities in order to accelerate our drive towards a more sustainable cocoa sector.”