Record-breaking shipment of cocoa beans contains sustainably farmed and Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa
Submitted by: The Blommer Chocolate Company
Posted: Feb 10, 2011 – 10:55 AM EST
EAST GREENVILLE, Pa., Feb. 10 /CSRwire/ - Blommer Chocolate, North America's largest processor of cocoa beans and ingredient chocolate products, today announced the single, largest cocoa bean shipment from West Africa is destined for their facility. The vessel, the Atlantic Tramp, carried 18,400 metric tons of cocoa, most of which is sustainably farmed, Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa and Blommer Project Cocoa beans. The shipment represents Blommer's continued dedication to cocoa industry sustainability and social responsibility initiatives. The cocoa was harvested in October, shipped in December, arrived in the US and was delivered to port warehouses last week.
Blommer has a long history of involvement in supporting cocoa community sustainability, beginning in the early 1950s when company founder, Henry Blommer, helped found the American Cocoa Research Institute. That organization has evolved into the World Cocoa Foundation, and Blommer's Cocoa Director, Kip Walk, was the foundation’s chairman from 2008 - 2010. More than 30,000 farmers have participated in Blommer sustainability programs, and have benefited with better crop yields and premium pricing.
"About 90% of cocoa is grown on small family farms, and we feel a strong sense of commitment and responsibility to these farmers," said Peter Blommer, President for Blommer Chocolate. "Our sustainability efforts are two-fold: focusing on improving the livelihood of the cocoa farmers through better tools and training while keeping a sharp eye on the planet by practicing responsible, environmental stewardship."
Blommer is involved in several sustainability programs in Ivory Coast, Indonesia and Ecuador. A few of Blommer's sustainability initiatives include
Processors Alliance for Cocoa Traceability and Sustainability (PACTS) is a new, $3 million cocoa sustainability partnership supporting farmers in Ivory Coast, West Africa. PACTS is developed in conjunction with Cemoi Chocolatier of France and Petra Foods of Southeast Asia, and the mission is to improve the supply of high quality, fermented cocoa beans while improving the livelihood of the local farming community.
Sulawesi Alliance of Farmers, Olam and Blommer Chocolate (SAFOB) is a sustainable farming program in Sulawesi, Indonesia that builds on the technical skills learned in the farmer field school initiatives developed by the World Cocoa Foundation by providing additional technical education, pricing incentives and global market access to farmers. Farmers participating in the program have achieved production increases of 50-100 percent and premium pricing consistent with quality gains.
Côte d'Ivoire Alliance of Farmers, Olam International and Blommer Chocolate (CIFOB) is a program developed to help cocoa farmers in West Africa to revitalize their cocoa farms and to improve cocoa quality to improve farmer incomes.
Amazon Basin Project is a coordinated effort in conjunction with BGO Conservacion and Desarolla to improve cocoa farmer livelihood and crop quality in Ecuador through the introduction of more than 200 solar dryers to improve the fermentation process. Farmers are now receiving 40% higher prices for their product because of higher quality cocoa.
World Cocoa Foundation is committed to promoting economic and social development and environmental stewardship in all 15 cocoa-producing nations around the world. Blommer Chocolate has been active in the organization since its inception, and company executive, Kip Walk, has been chairman of the foundation since 2008.
Cocoa Livelihoods Program - In 2009, Blommer joined forces with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and other industry members to launch the Cocoa Livelihoods Program, a comprehensive $40 million program targeted to reach 200,000 farmers in five Central and West African countries. The program has a goal of doubling the income of one-third of Africa's cocoa farmers with small family farms through farmer training on sustainable production techniques and quality issues.
Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa products - Blommer offers a line of products that are certified by the Rainforest Alliance, which works with farmers to help them meet comprehensive standards for sustainability that protect the environment and wildlife, and ensure the well-being of workers and local communities.
About Blommer Chocolate Company
Blommer Chocolate Company is the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America. With over 600 employees and four strategically located manufacturing facilities in the North America, the company provides comprehensive business solutions for domestic and international customers of all sizes in the confectionery, baking and dairy industries. Among Blommer's core competencies are cocoa bean processing, chocolate manufacturing, commodity risk management, and product and process R&D.
The company is a leader in advancing sustainable cocoa farming, playing an active role in the World Cocoa Foundation and promoting sustainable farming practices through its privately managed programs in Cote d'Ivoire, Indonesia and Ecuador. Founded in 1939, the family owned and run company has established an outstanding reputation for customer service and quality. For more information about Blommer Chocolate Company, please visit www.blommer.com.
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