cacao en sac

A systemic project for the production of high-quality organic cocoa, at the heart of the new ethical strategy of the Galler chocolate factory

Within the framework of the Beyond Chocolate partnership, Chocolaterie Galler is joining forces with the Trade for Development Centre (Enabel), the Yeyasso cooperative in Ivory Coast, the University of Ghent and ZOTO to carry out a pilot project for the development of high-quality organic cocoa.

The project, entitled “Sustainable production of high-quality organic cocoa for the Yeyasso cooperative in the Ivory Coast”, will enable this organisation to train in new agricultural practices, learn about organic farming and improve the quality of its cocoa.

The project is one of the 7 projects selected within the framework of ‘Beyond Chocolate‘, a partnership between chocolate makers, distributors, NGOs and public authorities which aims to tackle child labour and deforestation, to make Belgian chocolate sustainable by 2025, and to ensure that by 2030 cocoa producers receive a minimum living income.

The project is also in line with the important ethical change implemented by the Galler chocolate factory since December 2018 and focused on the 3Ps strategy – People, Planet & Profitability. “The meaning, the goal established for the company will determine the trade-off between the other three Ps. It’s a way of questioning growth,” Salvatore Iannello, Galler’s CEO, explained to the L’Echo newspaper in July 2020*.
Fair trade is at the heart of Galler’s new strategy, as is organic farming. “But we must first ensure a decent standard of living for the producers, with fair trade conditions and without passing the costs on to the end customer, before we can raise their awareness of organic farming,”* says Iannello.

Via the project with the Trade for Development Centre, the University of Ghent and Zoto, Galler wants to engage in a systemic approach combining organic farming, quality and diversification of production to benefit producers in Yeyasso and the environment. Community women will be involved in the management of a small poultry farm producing organic food and fertiliser. Eradicating the use of chemical pesticides will improve the diversity of insect and animal life. Shifting part of the production to organic cocoa will contribute to biodiversity, create a microclimate and restore specific fauna that provide ecosystem services to cocoa farming. This aspect is in line with other projects initiated by the chocolate factory within the cooperative to recreate an ecosystem conducive to the development of cocoa trees in the best possible conditions.

Within the framework of this project, the Trade for Development Centre will coach the Yeyasso cooperative in business management and in the management of various aspects of the project (profitability calculations, sale of the products resulting from the diversification of activities, etc.); the University of Ghent will help develop improved agricultural practices and with the transition to organic agriculture; while ZOTO will work on enhancing the fermentation process, for improved cocoa flavours.

Yeyasso has been supported by the TDC for some time now. Since the start of marketing coaching in 2017, the cooperative has come a long way in terms of new clients, new members, certification (Fairtrade certification has been added to the UTZ and Rainforest Alliance certifications) and professionalisation. All efforts have paid off: in the last two years, Yeyasso has been named the best cooperative in the region!

* Laurent Fabri, Nouvel ancrage belge pour le chocolatier Galler (New Belgian roots for chocolate maker Galler), L’Echo, 16 July 2020.
Credit photo : Dominique Derom
The Yeyasso-team is being coached by Dominique Derom for the TDC

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