The commitment of Cargill's cocoa and chocolate business to develop new sustainable cocoa economies has reached another milestone, with the delivery of the first UTZ Certified beans to its buying station in Chau Thanh district, Ben Tre province in Vietnam.
The cocoa sector in Vietnam is continuing to develop and this marks an important moment in its development.
Harold Poelma managing director cocoa, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, said: "The delivery of the first UTZ Certified beans produced in Vietnam, from the first three certified cooperatives, is an important milestone in Vietnam's development as a producer of high quality cocoa beans, and in particular of certified sustainable beans. We're looking forward to the certification of more cooperatives in Vietnam, which will enable us to scale up the production of sustainable cocoa in the years ahead and increase the choice that we can offer our customers."
Since 2004, Cargill has been working in Vietnam, along with the Vietnamese and Dutch governments, and Mars Incorporated, to help Vietnam develop its cocoa sector and produce high-quality sustainable cocoa beans to meet the growing demand for certified sustainable chocolate.
As part of this development, Cargill supported construction of seedling houses and built buying stations close to the cocoa growing areas, providing easier access to the market for farmers. The company has also introduced its successful farmer training programme to Vietnam, which has trained 12,000 farmers.
As a result of these initiatives, Vietnam's total cocoa crop has grown from less than 20 metric tonnes per year to a projected 2,500 metric tonnes by the end of 2011.
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