Barry Callebaut invests in organic cocoa supplier

by Jeff Gelski
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Barry Callebaut, Zurich, Switzerland, has acquired a 49% stake in Biolands, an exporter of certified organic cocoa and based in Tanzania. Barry Callebaut has purchased 100% of Biolands’ top-grade cocoa for the past eight years.

Biolands applies a bottom-up cooperation model by working directly with smallholder farmers, which the company says guarantees full traceability for every bag of cocoa sold by 200,000 participating farmers. Biolands now will replicate this concept in other countries, said Patrick De Maeseneire, chief executive officer of Barry Callebaut.

Eric Smeets, founder and managing director of Biolands, said, "For many farmers, this is the first time they are being treated seriously as partners — as partners who are expected to produce a good product in return for a better price. They feel that that their cocoa and their work are valued.

"Without Barry Callebaut’s steadfast commitment to buy cocoa from us at a fair price, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve our mission, which is to empower local farmers."

Marketecology IMO, based in Switzerland, certifies Biolands cocoa as organic.

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