Leading Cocoa and Chocolate Companies Join Together to Help Cocoa Farmers Adapt to Weather and Climate Impacts

New Partnership in West Africa and Latin America Focused on Industry’s Sustainability

STATE COLLEGE, P.A. (May 31, 2016) – The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) announced today the launch of its new program designed to strengthen collaboration between the public and private sector to address the threat climate change poses to cocoa sustainability and the many livelihoods the sector supports. The WCF-led partnership brings together ACDI/VOCA, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the world’s leading chocolate and cocoa companies. The announcement was made by WCF’s Acting President Tim McCoy during a presentation at Penn State’s Frontiers in Science and Technology for Cacao Quality, Productivity and Sustainability meeting.

This partnership is an unprecedented effort involving numerous stakeholders across the cocoa
value chain to develop solutions to climate and weather variability and deforestation, which
pose critical economic, social and environmental threats to millions of smallholder cocoa
farmers, national economies of cocoa producing countries, and the global cocoa and chocolate
industry. West Africa accounts for more than 70% of global cocoa output, while Central
America’s cocoa sector is smaller but has been growing rapidly in recent years. Climate
modeling suggests that various regions may need to change crops and cropping strategies, or
implement adaptive management practices, in order to maintain cocoa supply and viable

WCF Acting President, Tim McCoy said: “Addressing climate change is an important priority for
the cocoa and chocolate industry, farmers, small businesses and national governments in origin
producing countries, and the broader international community. Addressing this issue today will
help prepare for tomorrow and will build the foundation for a strong private sector platform.
Investing in climate smart cocoa is a critical step in ensuring greater sustainability in the cocoa
sector and positions our industry to respond to the realities of climate change discussed at
COP21 in Paris last year.”

The program builds on existing industry commitments to increase cocoa productivity among
smallholder producers in countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Liberia as well as the
Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. With support and expertise from
USAID and ACDI/VOCA, private sector partners will develop a common strategy to address
climate’s impacts on cocoa and develop innovations to assist farmers in adapting to changing
weather patterns, such as research and development of climate resilient planting material,
improved farming practices, and new agroforestry models. The program will also focus on the
challenge of deforestation in cocoa growing regions, and will include collaboration with
technical experts such as the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) on ongoing
research on climate modeling and deforestation mapping.

CIAT’s Theme Leader on Linking Farmers to Markets, Mark Lundy, said “Climate change will
have significant impact on cocoa in West Africa with the majority of effects projected to occur by
2030. This means that cacao planted today will need to adapt to changing rainfall patterns as
well as higher temperatures during its productive lifespan. This new initiative is critical because
it inserts solid climate projections for cocoa into private sector decision-making processes,
allows for dialogues with public agencies and donors, and prioritizes collective investment plans
to ensure a resilient cocoa sector that benefits farmers, companies and consumers into the

WCF member companies involved in the partnership include Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Ecom
Agrotrade, The Hershey Company, Lindt & Sprüngli, Mars, Inc., Nestlé, Olam International Ltd,
and Touton. The partnership contributes to the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food
security initiative, Feed the Future, which supports partner countries in developing their
agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that can reduce hunger, poverty and

About WCF: The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector by
providing cocoa farmers with the support they need to grow more quality cocoa and strengthen
their communities. For more information, visit or follow us on
Twitter and Facebook.

About USAID: The U.S. Agency for International Development leads the U.S. Government’s
efforts to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies, including the U.S.
Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. For more information,

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