Cocoa, chocolate industry donates to Ghana farmers to fight COVID-19
$325,000 donation builds on other industry efforts to help cocoa farmers respond to pandemic
ACCRA (May 4, 2020) – Global cocoa and chocolate companies are donating $325,000 to help cocoa farmers and their families in Ghana fight the spreading coronavirus by supporting the national emergency plan of the government.
Coming on top of numerous individual company contributions and help to farmers, the global industry fundraising effort raised $835,000 and is allocating $325,000 to both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, the biggest cocoa producers. The money will be directed in Ghana to a leading international relief organization operating in line with priorities set by the government.
“This is a demonstration of the goodwill that can come from the global cocoa and chocolate industry in rallying to provide support to the farmers in cocoa producer countries,” said Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board. “Some critical steps have already been taken to support cocoa communities in Ghana, however, working with industry, we will do whatever we can to ensure that the farmers have up-to-date information and the means to protect themselves and their families.”
“All of us in the cocoa supply chain are connected, from the cocoa farmer in Ghana to the chocolate maker. This fund-raising effort shows the cocoa and chocolate industry is united in our goal to help farmers and their families in Ghana fight the virus and save lives in cocoa-growing communities,” said Richard Scobey, President of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF).
Governments in West Africa, Asia, and Latin America are taking the critical steps to protect their citizens, but their health and social safety net systems need more support. Cocoa-growing communities are particularly at risk since they cannot easily access clean water, health care, and social safety nets.
The global fund-raising effort by companies comes on top of other efforts to fight the virus by the industry. Many of the large cocoa and chocolate companies are making major financial contributions to international relief and humanitarian organizations. These commitments already total hundreds of millions of dollars and are supporting the emergency response around the world.
Many companies have been working for more than a month now with their suppliers in Ghana to support local relief efforts and help the government contain the spread of the virus and save lives. In close collaboration with the government and humanitarian relief organizations, companies are donating critical emergency supplies such as soap, sanitizers, clean water equipment, and medical goods. They are broadcasting the government’s health care messages through their farmer communication channels and farmer training platforms. They are distributing copies of government coronavirus posters and other information in rural communities.
More than 30 companies and organizations from around the world contributed to this industry-wide response, including Altinmarka, the Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI), August Storck KG, Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate Company, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate, Carletti, Cémoi, Clasen Quality Chocolate, CWT Europe B.V, ECOM, Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd., Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA), German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO), GCB Cocoa, Guittard Chocolate, Intercontinental Exchange, JB Cocoa, Lindt & Sprüngli, Luker Chocolate, Mars Wrigley, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Olam Cocoa, Pit Süßwaren/Becks Cocoa, Ritter Sport, Seattle Chocolate, the Swiss Foundation of the Cocoa and Chocolate Industry, SUCDEN Cocoa, The Hershey Company, Touton S.A., Whittaker’s, and WCF.
The industry response was spearheaded by the Association of Chocolate, Biscuit and Confectionery Industries of Europe (CAOBISCO), BDSI, the European Cocoa Association (ECA), the Federation of Cocoa Commerce (FCC) and WCF.