COBHAM, England, February 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 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, as well as demonstrating Cargill's leading role in building a sustainable supply chain globally.
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 are 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 to date 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.
The delivery of the first certified sustainable beans was marked by a ceremony attended by dignitaries including Mr Nguyen Van Hoa, vice director general of Vietnam's Department of Crop Production, and Mr Nguyen Van Thiet, chief representative for UTZ Vietnam.
The UTZ Certified cocoa programme - founded by Cargill, along with Dutch development organisation Solidaridad and others in the cocoa sector - has introduced independent certification to improve agricultural, environmental and social practices in cocoa production.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries.
Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit http://www.cargill.com
About Cargill in Vietnam
A wholly owned subsidiary of Cargill, Cargill Vietnam Limited established a presence in Vietnam when the United States and Vietnam normalized relations in 1995. Today the company operates six animal feed mills, a cocoa business, a ferrous trading business, and it exports Vietnamese products across the globe.
Cargill is a good corporate citizen of Vietnam and has built 40 schools throughout the country, mainly in remote rural areas to help economically disadvantaged children, and also provided over 1,000 scholarships. The company also supports centers for disabled children and helps victims of natural disasters.
About Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate offers the food industry a wide range of both standard and customised cocoa and chocolate ingredients to be used in delicious bakery, confectionery, and dairy applications all over the world. Our product range includes high quality Gerkens(R) cocoa powders, chocolate, coatings, fillings, cocoa liquors and cocoa butters. With years of experience in technical food expertise Cargill supports its customers in new recipes and new product development. Our processing plants in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, France, Germany, Ghana, the Netherlands, UK and the USA are fully dedicated to produce in accordance with the highest food safety standards.
To secure a good quality and sustainable supply of cocoa beans we have our own cocoa bean sourcing operations for buying handling and/or exporting of cocoa beans in Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Indonesia and Vietnam. Presence in all the leading producing countries allows Cargill to oversee the supply chain from beans at origin to cocoa and chocolate products on our customers' doorstep. In addition, extensive market research and analysis proves to be a source of valuable information to our customers.
For more information visit: http://www.cargillcocoachocolate.com
About UTZ Certified Good Inside
UTZ Certified Good Inside is a sustainability program dedicated to creating an open and transparent marketplace for agricultural products. UTZ Certified has developed sustainability models for the production of cocoa, coffee and tea, and offers traceability services for palm oil. UTZ Certified's vision is to achieve sustainable agricultural supply chains in which farmers are trained to be professionals. The industry takes responsibility by demanding and sourcing sustainably grown products and consumers buy products that meet their standard for social and environmental responsibility.
In 2007, Cargill, Ecom Agroindustrial, Heinz Benelux, Mars, Nestlé, Royal Ahold, Solidaridad, Oxfam Novib, WWF and UTZ CERTIFIED founded the Good Inside cocoa program to ensure good agricultural, environmental and social practice in cocoa production. The first UTZ Certified cocoa and chocolate products are now available in the market. For more information visit: http://www.utzcertified.org
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