ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, October 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Empowering cooperative leaders to take control of their future
Cargill has established the first business skills program for cocoa farmer cooperative executives in Côte d'Ivoire with the launch of the Cargill Coop Academy. The program, which is new and unprecedented in the cocoa sector, is the latest initiative under the Cargill Cocoa Promise and provides cooperative leaders with the management skills to make their organisations more professional, efficient and successful.
The Cargill Coop Academy provides cooperative managers with 28 days of intensive training, followed by a year of personalized and on-the-ground coaching. The program includes training and support around good governance, the structure and principles of a cooperative, people management skills, improving operational management, enhancing financial and auditing techniques, and developing business and marketing plans.
"Supporting and strengthening farmer organisations is central to Cargill's commitment to securing a long-term supply of high quality cocoa and to improving cocoa farmers' livelihoods," said Lionel Soulard, Managing Director Côte d'Ivoire, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. "With our Coop Academy program, it is the first time this level and scale of training is offered to the cocoa sector. It provides cooperative leaders with the knowledge to improve the day-to-day running of their coop's, and crucially enables them to develop the skills to grow their business successfully. Ultimately our customers will significantly benefit from this ground-breaking enterprise to sustain a high-quality supply of cocoa."
The Academy aims to reach over 400 cooperative leaders across 110 of Cargill's partner cooperatives. The first 40 executives from 10 cocoa cooperatives recently graduated upon completion of the Cargill Coop Academy and were recognised during a ceremony in Abidjan. The ceremony was attended by Mr. Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly, Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, who said, "The Coop Academy initiative is in line with the vision of the President, His Excellency Mr. Ouattara, to make Côte d'Ivoire an emerging country by 2020. For an agricultural country like Côte d'Ivoire, this necessarily goes through the agricultural sector."
The Cargill Coop Academy has been developed in partnership with TechnoServe, a non-profit organization that develops business solutions to poverty, and INPHB (Côte d'Ivoire's leading university), and is supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and Emerging Leaders, an NGO focused on bringing leadership training to farmer communities.
The Cargill Cocoa Promise is the company's global commitment to the development of a sustainable cocoa supply chain and to making a difference in three key areas - improving the lives of cocoa farmers, supporting cocoa farming communities, and investing in the future of cocoa farming. Cooperatives are a key partner in the cocoa value chain and Cargill aims to improve cooperative farming around the world
Under the Cargill Cocoa Promise, Cargill invests and provides financing, training and support to secure a sustainable cocoa supply chain in cocoa producing countries including Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Vietnam, Indonesia and Brazil.
Notes for editors:
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and nearly 150 years of experience. We have 142,000 employees in 67 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.
About Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate offers the food industry a wide range of both standard and customised cocoa and chocolate ingredients to be used in delicious bakery, confectionery, and dairy applications all over the world. Our product range includes high quality Gerkens® cocoa powders, chocolate including Wilbur®, Peter's® and Veliche®, coatings, fillings, cocoa liquors and cocoa butters. With years of experience in technical food expertise Cargill supports its customers in new recipes and new product development.
Our facilities in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, France, Germany, Ghana, the Netherlands, UK and the USA are fully dedicated to produce in accordance with the highest food safety standards.
To secure a good quality and sustainable supply of cocoa beans we have our own cocoa bean sourcing operations for buying, handling and/or exporting of cocoa beans in Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Indonesia and Vietnam. Presence in all the leading producing countries allows Cargill to oversee the supply chain from beans at origin to cocoa and chocolate products on our customers' doorstep. In addition, extensive market research and analysis proves to be a source of valuable information to our customers.
For more information, visit http://www.cargillcocoachocolate.com.
Floyd Jebson +44-1869-353-813
Louis de Schorlemer +32-15-401-636