ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, June 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
A series of projects to understand and help overcome the barriers for women in cocoa farming communities in Côte d'Ivoire has been launched by Cargill, Kellogg and ASDA.
Women farmers represent nearly half of Africa's agricultural workers, and are critically important to developing the full potential of African agriculture and food security. However, they historically haven't had the support needed to grow from subsistence farming to smallholder production and beyond. In cocoa, women are involved in activities such as planting seedlings, collecting cocoa pods, transporting, fermenting and drying cocoa beans. Often their role is unrecognised as they balance household work with farming and have unequal access to training, inputs, and education.
"Côte d'Ivoire is the largest cocoa producing country in the world, yet estimates shows only four percent of cocoa farmers are women. With support from Kellogg and ASDA, we're aiming to better understand the barriers to women in cocoa farming communities and initiate activities that give women the access to training, support and education to improve their own and their families' livelihoods," said Taco Terheijden, Director, Cocoa Sustainability at Cargill.
The projects aim to improve the understanding of how gender barriers may limit access to skills, information and inputs amongst women in cocoa growing communities including:
- a gender sensitization training program for Anader agents (Côte d'Ivoire's national agency for rural development).
- a situational analysis, with help from CARE, to gain further insights into the real barriers preventing women cocoa farmers from attending cocoa field schools.
- funding of a specific female-only training for up to 1,000 women farmers to help them improve their agricultural and business skills, supported by the African Cocoa Initiative, a World Cocoa Foundation led program.
The partnership has already supported the first gender sensitization training program for 100 regional agents from Anader who are responsible for training cocoa farmers in local communities. Cargill currently trains over 70,000 Ivorian cocoa farmers through its network of 1,800 Farmer Field Schools with the support of Anader. The three-day training, completed in April, raised awareness of gender issues and provided practical steps for Anader agents to implement in their day-to-day activities, which are being cascaded throughout the organization.
"The inclusion of women in training sessions and fully recognizing the contribution they make in cocoa production is an important element for the production of cocoa quality and improving the living conditions of their families," commented N'Dry Florence, Chef de Zone, Dabou at Anader.
"CARE's research will help identify the specific barriers to women's participation in training in order to make recommendations on how we can support people and industry to integrate a gendered approach to cocoa trading," said Helene Gayle, CARE President and CEO. "We look forward to working in partnership to enable these women to reach their full potential."
As part of its 2020 goals, Kellogg has committed to responsibly sourcing its priority ingredients, including cocoa, and to developing programs to help improve the livelihoods of women. "Supporting women farmers not only directly benefits them, but it also creates a positive ripple effect for their families and communities," said Diane Holdorf, Kellogg Chief Sustainability Officer. "We're working to close the gender gap between the number of women working in the cocoa farms and those receiving training."
"ASDA recognises the crucial role that women play in the production of cocoa. It is important that their voice is heard in the discussions on the future of cocoa. This may be the first time the supply chain from retail shelf to food manufacturer to processor and the farmer have come together on gender issues. ASDA is pleased to be able to link with our partners on this project, Cargill and Kellogg to use our contributions to develop and raise awareness of women's' roles in cocoa farming," said Christopher Brown, Senior Director Sustainable Business, ASDA Store.
The female-only training which will benefit up to 1,000 women cocoa farmers will commence in the next few months. The training, which is being supported by the African Cocoa Initiative - a World Cocoa Foundation led program - will focus on teaching better agricultural practices, support cocoa tree nursery development as an income generating activity as well as providing business skills training and improving literacy.
Notes for editors:
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 143,000 employees in 67 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.
About Kellogg Company
At Kellogg Company (NYSE: K), we are driven to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter. With 2014 sales of $14.6 billion and more than 1,600 foods, Kellogg is the world's leading cereal company; second largest producer of cookies, crackers and savory snacks; and a leading North American frozen foods company. Our brands - Kellogg's®, Keebler®, Special K®, Pringles®, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes®, Pop-Tarts®, Kellogg's Corn Flakes®, Rice Krispies®, Cheez-It®, Eggo®, Mini-Wheats® and more - nourish families so they can flourish and thrive. Through our Breakfasts for Better Days™ initiative, we're providing 1 billion servings of cereal and snacks - more than half of which are breakfasts - to children and families in need around the world by the end of 2016. To learn more, visit http://www.kelloggcompany.com or follow us on Twitter @KelloggCompany, YouTube and on Social K.
About Asda Stores Ltd.
Founded in the 1960s in Yorkshire, Asda is one of Britain's leading retailers. It has more than 172,000 dedicated Asda colleagues serving customers from 609 stores, including 32 Supercentres, 330 Superstores, 34 Asda Living stores, 197 Supermarkets, 26 depots and seven recycling centres across the UK. Its main office is in Leeds, Yorkshire and its George clothing division is in Lutterworth, Leicestershire. More than 18 million people shop at Asda stores every week and 98 per cent of UK homes are served by http://www.ASDA.com. Asda joined Walmart, the world's number one retailer, in 1999.
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