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Cargill and International Finance Corporation (IFC) announce Coop Academy 2.0 to empower cocoa producing cooperatives

Cargill and International Finance Corporation (IFC) announce Coop Academy 2.0 to empower cocoa producing cooperatives

Cargill (http://www.Cargill.com) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) (http://bit.ly/2lcKd5w) have renewed their partnership, allowing the organizations to introduce new initiatives to strengthen cocoa producing cooperatives and their communities, including Coop Academy 2.0. The renewed partnership will add 40 additional cooperatives to the academy, bringing the total to 120 cooperatives reached through training and tools to improve their cocoa business, improve sustainability and increase profitability.

The Cargill Coop Academy, first established in 2013, was the first of its kind in the cocoa sector. The model provides cooperative leaders with the management skills to improve daily operations of their organizations, leading to a more professional, efficient and successful business. In 2014, Cargill partnered with IFC and others to scale the program to reach over 350 cooperative leaders.

Lionel Soulard, managing director of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate in West Africa, said “The cooperative model has proven to be an exceptional method to bring cocoa farmers and their communities lasting benefits. By gaining invaluable skills and tools to professionalize their business, we see them independently driving impactful sustainability projects that bring meaningful change to their communities and the cocoa sector at large.”

The renewed partnership, supported by the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), will introduce an improved Coop Academy 2.0 program. An additional 40 cooperatives, will have access to training in capacity building, management and governance, adding to the 80 cooperatives already enrolled in the program will feature updated training with an even stronger focus on digitalization and traceability, based on learnings from the first phase, to provide cooperatives stronger data and analytics to inform critical business decisions. The digital program will provide 35,250 farmers with access to a digital payments platform, enabling utilization and access to digital financial services. Measurement and benchmarking, using a tool developed by IFC and SCOPEInsight, an independent agricultural assessment agency, will measure the impact and increase business opportunities for over 125,000 farmers. It will benchmark activities such as operations, sustainability, financial and internal management, with the purpose of assessing how increased leadership capacity results in improved management of the cooperatives. Cargill is using digital technologies like these to strengthen the transparency of its own cocoa supply chain.

Coop Academy 2.0 is also adding training and support fully dedicated to women’s groups, with the aim of coaching 250 women leaders. The initiative will also include tools and resources to help 3,000 women setup income-generating activities, to raise the earning potential of their families and build the economic viability of their community.

Aliou Maiga, IFC Director for West and Central Africa, said, “Through our partnership with Cargill, IFC is committed to the long-term growth and sustainability of Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa industry. This program deepens our support for smallholder farmers and helps introduce agricultural best practices and innovative financial services to help Cote d’Ivoire remain the world’s top cocoa producer.”

Partnerships like the Cargill-IFC initiative are imperative to create a more sustainable cocoa supply chain. These efforts are part of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate’s Transformation, Together (http://bit.ly/2nnlDj6) ambition, using the power of partnerships to achieve our sustainability targets and accelerate sector transformation in a way that could not be done alone. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Cargill.

Media Contacts: 
Nathalie Gross
Email: nathalie_gross@cargill.com
Tel : +31 612140108

Lawrence Henri Mensah
Email: lmensah@ifc.org
Tel: +221 338 597195

About Cargill:
Cargill’s (http://www.Cargill.com) 160,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 154 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture. More information is available at http://www.Cargill.com.

About Cargill’s global cocoa and chocolate business:
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate (http://bit.ly/2nk1daG) provides high quality cocoa and chocolate more sustainably throughout the world and brings our customers peace of mind, integrity and excitement. With balanced efforts on security of supply, sustainability projects and sensory expertise, we create a wide range of outstanding standardized and custom-made products and services. In addition, we provide our customers with extensive market knowledge. We grow a robust, fair and transparent supply chain, from bean to bar, eager to continuously shape industry standards. To ensure a more transparent supply of quality cocoa beans, Cargill established our own sourcing and trading operations at origin in Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia. Our Cargill Cocoa Promise underlines our commitment to enable farmers and their communities achieve better incomes and living standards. Our team of 3,600 passionate cocoa and chocolate experts work across 54 locations and are part of Cargill’s 160,000 colleagues around the world. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2nk1daG.

About International Finance Corporation (IFC):
IFC (http://bit.ly/2lcKd5w)— a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2lcKd5w.

The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) is a multi-donor global program focused on increasing agricultural productivity for smallholders as a way to reduce poverty and increase food and nutrition security. The GAFSP Private Sector Window, managed by IFC, provides long- and short-term loans, credit guarantees, and equity as well as technical assistance to private sector companies and financial intermediaries in eligible IDA countries to improve productivity growth, deepen farmer’s links to markets and access to finance and increase capacity and technical skills. It is supported by the governments of Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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Cargill and International Finance Corporation (IFC) announce Coop Academy 2.0 to empower cocoa producing cooperatives

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