ADM helps revitalise Côte D’ivoire cocoa sector

Posted: 25 August 2011 | ADM | No comments yet

ADM continues to actively support cocoa growing communities…

Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) continues to actively support cocoa growing communities as ADM Cocoa, a global supplier of cocoa and chocolate solutions, is helping revitalise the country’s cocoa sector following months of civil turmoil and an EU ban on one of the nation’s most lucrative exports.

As ADM Cocoa operations resume in Côte d’Ivoire, the company is meeting with cocoa cooperatives to offer support in restoring production and marketing operations. An ADM team comprised of agricultural engineers, marketing representatives and cocoa farming specialists has been travelling throughout the country, assessing what additional assistance cocoa farmers may need to resume full production.

Although the majority of the country’s unrest occurred in the city of Abidjan, farmers throughout Côte d’Ivoire have been affected by a breakdown of the supply chain. It is estimated that almost half a million tonnes of cocoa were held up at the country’s ports by the conflict which lasted more than seven months.

ADM’s sustainability programmes in Côte d’Ivoire continue, including the company’s flagship Socially and Environmentally Responsible Agricultural Practices Programme (SERAP). ADM developed the SERAP programme in 2005 to help West African farmers produce higher quality cocoa crops while advancing sustainable farming practices. It is one of the world’s first sustainable cocoa programmes and encourages farming cooperatives to work together to address social and environmental issues, offering financial incentives in the form of premiums to help implement sustainable practices. And since then, the program has distributed over US$10.4 million in funding to cooperatives and their members.

During the 2010-2011 growing year, more than 22,000 cocoa farmers participated in the program, producing 24,000 metric tonnes of sustainable cocoa. ADM is also seeking to finalise the certification process for 31 additional cooperatives, representing almost 9,000 cocoa growers whose audits were delayed as a result of the recent political turmoil. To ensure there is no further revenue lost, growers that achieve SERAP certification will receive retroactive premiums.

On August 11, ADM distributed US$4.4 million in SERAP premiums to more than 60 participating cooperatives, which will distribute more than half of these funds directly to individual farmers. The cooperatives will use the remainder to develop their operations, help members build management and marketing acumen, and support their local communities. Examples of community projects include purchasing supplies for rural medical dispensaries, helping to fund school canteens, buying farming equipment and building warehouses to properly store supplies.

David Loué, ADM sustainable development manager in Côte d’Ivoire, comments: “SERAP is about building a future for cocoa farming communities and I am very proud that cocoa farmers were able to continue to provide high quality cocoa beans even during the recent conflict. Their efforts are a key part of this programme being a success and by working together we can help improve the livelihoods of the cocoa communities.”

ADM in Côte d’Ivoire

ADM grinds approximately 16 percent of the world’s cocoa crop. In Côte d’Ivoire, the company operates the UNICAO cocoa processing facility in Abidjan, two cocoa conditioning and storage facilities in Abidjan and one cocoa conditioning and storage facility San Pedro where beans are cleaned, checked for quality and prepared for export to ADM’s cocoa processing facilities around the world.

In addition to the SERAP programme, ADM is working with OIC International to construct 16 clean water wells and eight small bridges in 23 villages throughout Côte d’Ivoire. Bridges in Nyan (Adzopé), Amélékia (Abengourou), Apprompron (Abengourou), Akoupe (Akoupe) and Nianda (Agnibilékro) have already been completed, with the remaining two bridges to be completed later this year. Additionally, wells in Bacon (Akoupe) and Zouhounou (Abengourou) have been completed and construction of a third well in Elinso (Abengourou) is underway. Construction of the remaining wells, which was delayed due to the crisis, has resumed.

To further aid the people of Côte d’Ivoire, ADM also supports the World Food Programme’s hunger relief efforts in the country, primarily aimed at helping children and pregnant women. Since 2008, ADM’s contributions have provided meals to more than 100,000 school children in Côte d’Ivoire.