As Cargill expands its cocoa farmer training programme in the Ivory Coast this month, we caught up with managing director of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, Harold Poelma, to hear about developments in the sourcing of sustainably derived cocoa and his call for audit convergence among schemes.
A number of different ethical schemes exist in the food sector, including Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Equitrade, and Utz. These each have their own set of standards and aims, and are communicated to consumers using different logos and tools.
The plethora of schemes, however, means there is some fear of crowding and confusion in the fair trade space.
Harold Poelma believes harmonisation should occur where different approaches agree, and that the individual factors that distinguish them should be communicated in a clear and transparent way as far as their presence on the retail shelf is concerned.
He also speaks about the Utz scheme together with Cargill is intent on turning the cocoa farmer in West Africa into a more professional grower, which in turn is boosting the quality and yield of cocoa in that region.