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Sustainable cocoa program to support 50,000 farmers by 2030

Belcolade and Puratos released the latest annual report of the Cacao-Trace® sustainable cocoa program. The program is on track to support and provide living income for 50,000 farmers by 2030, Puratos announced. The report highlights milestone achievements in 2023 in the journey to improve sustainability across the chocolate and cocoa-based product chain. Last year, Cacao-Trace® reached over 23,000 farmers and their families, across eight countries.

In 2023, the Cacao-Trace program also collected a EUR 2.4 million Chocolate Bonus, which will be shared with farming communities in 2024 – either as cash donations or via community projects. The Chocolate Bonus, which corresponds to a EUR 0.10 bonus for every kg of high-quality chocolate sold to Cacao-Trace customers, directly benefits the growers of Cacao-Trace high-standard cocoa beans.

Over the past year, the Chocolate Bonus continued to strengthen community projects in Côte d’Ivoire, Papua New Guinea and Uganda, and for the first time in 2023, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Aimed at supporting local cocoa farming communities through improved income, better education and healthcare facilities, the Cacao-Trace program provided 46 essential pieces of water equipment and contributed to the construction and renovation of twelve primary school projects across these regions. 

In addition, the report reveals new figures for the Cacao-Trace Quality Premium: the financial reward cocoa farmers receive for the high-quality beans they produce, regardless of how much chocolate is sold. In 2023, a EUR 1.5m Quality Premium was paid, aimed at increasing farmers’ income and improving their living conditions in the long term. The Quality Premium ensures that every farmer receives the money they deserve, based on the quality of beans delivered.

“The Chocolate Bonus is one of the cornerstones of our Cacao-Trace program, so being able to increase the amount collected every year has had an enormous impact on the communities where we operate,” according to Youri Dumont, director of the chocolate business unit at Puratos. “We’re dedicated to ensuring a long-term positive effect, a proportion of the Chocolate Bonus is allocated to the maintenance of projects, to help future generations benefit from investments in education and health infrastructures as well. Thanks to the increase in Chocolate Bonus last year, along with other crucial Cacao-Trace initiatives, we’re absolutely on track to reach our 2030 goals.” 

The report also highlights the progress being made to improve agroforestry in key cocoa-growing regions. Last year, 199,302 trees were planted, taking the total to 626,322 towards the program’s target of 3.44 million trees by 2030. Replanting trees is a key element of the program’s strategy, to help safeguard cocoa cultivation and restore biodiversity. 

Puratos and Belcolade launched the Cacao-Trace program in 2013. Belcolade is the Belgian chocolate brand and part of the Puratos Group. 


Photo: Pexels (#14436361)