Barry Callebaut and Prova, a manufacturer of vanilla extracts and flavours, are joining forces to launch a project to help vanilla farmers in Madagascar diversify into cocoa. The aim is to diversify and stabilize revenues of vanilla farmers through the introduction of cocoa farming. With additional services, the project will also increase levels of vanilla curing at the farm level and support the adoption of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). The joint project activities will improve the livelihoods of the vanilla farmers located in the district of Bemanevika. The project will also play a role in Barry Callebaut’s and Prova’s efforts to extend the sourcing of sustainable vanilla and cocoa.
Barry Callebaut will apply its long-standing cocoa expertise in association with Prova’s local vanilla know-how, creating synergies on the ground for the benefit of the local vanilla farmers. Both companies will fund and support local communities through social, health and education programmes. IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, will support Barry Callebaut’s and Prova’s project with professional consulting services as well as financing. The project will run over the next five years. First results regarding the newly introduced cocoa production are expected after three years.
Alessandra Ognibene-Lerouvillois, Chief Sustainability Officer at Prova, said: “The cocoa and vanilla synergy is an ancient love-story that dates back to the Aztecs, thousands of years ago. Witnessing this marriage in the field, helping farmers to improve their livelihoods is a big achievement. We are excited to embark on this journey with Barry Callebaut. Our objective is to enable the planters to become stakeholders in their own development, take ownership of these projects and ensure their long-term sustainability.”
For more information see the forthcoming January 2017 issue of Coffee & Cocoa International.