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The Cocoa Plan

The Cocoa Plan

Impact Area

  • Communities
  • Community engagement
  • Compliance
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Gender balance & diversity
  • Individuals & Families
  • Nutrition
  • Planet
  • Rural development
  • Water
Our vision is to help to professionalise cocoa farming, so that cocoa farmers run profitable farms, respect the environment, have a good quality of life and their children benefit from education. The Cocoa Plan is Nestlé’s way of helping to tackle key issues facing cocoa farmers, their families and communities to create a better future for cocoa farming.

Programme description

The Cocoa Plan – already active in the world’s largest cocoa origin, Cote d’Ivoire, and the world’s largest fine cocoa origins, Ecuador and Venezuela – covers the following aspects:

Overall investment. Nestlé intends to invest CHF 110 million on cocoa creating shared value initiatives over the next decade, almost twice as much as was spent over the past 15 years (CHF 60 million).

Helping farmers. We are training farmers in Ecuador and Côte d’Ivoire to help them to increase yields, reduce disease, respect the environment and produce a better quality crop which attracts higher prices.

Plant expertise. As part of a wider remit, our new R&D Centre in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (where more than 40% of the world’s cocoa originates) will provide farmers with 1 million high-potential cocoa trees each year from 2012. The Centre’s programmes will focus on improving the quality and quantity of locally sourced raw materials, developing products that meet the nutritional needs and tastes of West African consumers, and helping to increase both agricultural productivity and food safety. We are also training plant scientists in accelerated propagation techniques in other cocoa-producing countries. Over the past 15 years, Nestlé has provided 17 million coffee and cocoa tree plantlets to producer countries, and over the next decade, we will provide at least 38 million more. These develop into high-yield, disease-tolerant trees providing farmers with a foundation for increased farm productivity and potential income. Although results vary, studies show Nestlé-produced trees can achieve an increase in productivity of 50%–200%. The protection and propagation of superior “fine cocoa” varieties for use in our premium chocolate brands is also ongoing in Ecuador and Venezuela.

The supply chain. By working closely with farming cooperatives and paying a premium for quality, we aim to reduce the complexity of the supply chain, improve returns to farmers and improve the quality of cocoa for Nestlé.

Better social conditions. Cocoa farming is the major employer, the main source of income and the focus of activity for millions of people. But many cocoa communities do not enjoy clean water or access to education, and as a result, labour practices on cocoa farms are not always what they should be. We will work to improve access to education, water and sanitation. As a founding participant in the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), set up specifically to eradicate the worst forms of child labour, Nestlé and other industry players are improving access to education and addressing all forms of exploitation of children, forced labour and its underlying causes. We are partnering with the International Federation of The Red Cross/Red Crescent to fund a clean water and sanitation project in schools in the Gagnoa region of Cote d’Ivoire.

Working with partners. In addition to supporting the ICI, we:

  • co-founded The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) to deal with issues such as ineffective farming techniques and poor environmental management. By the end of 2010, some 340 000 children will have benefited from WCF-supported education programmes and 8800 teachers will have been trained;
  • partner government organisations such as the Centre National Ivoirien de Recherche Agronomique to improve the sustainability of cocoa farming;
  • co-founded the UTZ Certified Cocoa Programme;
  • support industry-wide organisations such as The Sustainable Tree Crops Program, which has increased income by over 20% for nearly 80 000 West African families through farmer training. They also learn about HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention.