Meet the farmers: sharing stories from Cote D’Ivoire, part 1.
Since UTZ Certified launched its program for sustainable cocoa five years ago, it has grown to include more than 336,000 farmers, across 16 countries. That means real, tangible benefits: higher yields, bigger incomes and better living conditions for farmers and their families.
The cocoa these farmers produce is enjoyed all over the world. You can buy chocolate products with the UTZ name or logo in 111 countries. And enough cocoa has been sold as UTZ certified to make more than 20 billion chocolate bars!
It all began back in 2009, when the program was launched in partnership with Ahold, Cargill, Ecom, Heinz Benelux, Mars, Nestlé and NGOs Solidaridad, Oxfam Novib and WWF. Back then, there were just two cooperatives in the program, in the world’s largest cocoa producing country: Côte D’Ivoire.
Our field representative in Côte D’Ivoire, Siriki Diakité, visited the cooperatives and met with some of the farmers to find out what kind of changes have they seen over the last five years. Over the next few days we will be sharing their stories.