Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization, announced that Blommer Chocolate Co. and the Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity (MOCA) project, implemented by CNFA, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Jan. 7 aimed at improving the cocoa value chain in Côte d’Ivoire.
MOCA, funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food for Progress program, provides capacity-building, training and other support services to Côte d’Ivoire cocoa producers, cooperatives and exporters in order to boost stakeholder productivity and efficiency, improve farm incomes, and increase the supply of high-quality cacao beans.
Under the new agreement, Blommer—the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America—will partner with MOCA to work with farmers and cooperatives to strengthen the production of sustainable cacao beans.
To drive those efforts, Blommer and MOCA will collaborate over the next year to increase cooperatives’ management capacities, launch pilot mobile money solutions with selected cooperatives, and improve distribution channels for agricultural inputs.
“Blommer is a recognized leader in advancing sustainability efforts in cocoa communities,” said MOCA Chief of Party Marc Steen. “We look forward to working closely with them, and to leveraging our joint expertise to improve Ivorian farmers’ incomes and livelihoods through the sustainable production of high-quality cocoa.”
“Blommer is excited to launch this new partnership and pilot introducing new approaches to identified bottlenecks” said Kip Walk, Senior Director, Sustainability. “Finding ways to improve management capacities and instituting systems supporting mobile money are critical to the long-term success of the cocoa farming sector.”