A coalition of private & public actors committed to improve cocoa farmers’ income

Livelihoods’ new initiative in Ghana aims to uncover and address the social, economic and environmental problems cocoa smallholders are facing. This 3-year initiative is launched by the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming (L3F) which has brought together: Mars Incorporated (global business that produces some of the world’s most famous brands of confectionery, food, and pet care products), Touton (a decade-long major player in global cocoa trade and Mars’ main cocoa supplier), Solidaridad West Africa (local implementer with extensive experience working with smallholders in West Africa) and I4DI (entrusted scientific partner to evaluate the project’s impacts). All partners join forces with one specific goal in mind: identify which levers and enablers can help independent smallholders sustainably restore their farms and improve income.

Meet the partners of the project and their roles:

The Livelihoods fund for Family Farming (L3F) is a private investment vehicle which brings together world-known private actors Mars, Danone, Firmenich and Veolia. It was designed in 2015 to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers together with entrusted partners to help them transform their supply chains. L3F has previously launched long-term projects in the coconut, vanilla, palm, shea sectors but also in watershed preservation.

Mars is a global business that produces some of the world’s most famous brands of confectionery, food, and pet care products and services. The company is a business partner and historic investor in the Livelihoods fund for Family Farming. It has been very active in the cocoa sector (one of Mars’ core business ingredients) and has focused for the past years on supporting farmers improve their income with dedicated programs such as “Mars Cocoa for Generations program” (2018) which led to an intensification of supply chain efforts to improve farmer income and resilience.

Touton S.A. delivers quality, responsibly sourced cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and natural ingredient products to its customers around the globe. Touton has been a major player in global cocoa trade for decades and in addition to sourcing cocoa beans and cocoa derivatives, now also processes cocoa liquor in Ghana. Touton’s cocoa beans are now traceable all along the supply chain, from the origin to the consumer allowing segregation of conventional and certified beans as well as better monitoring and understanding of the communities of farmers they work with.

Solidaridad West Africa, is a leading civil society organization with extensive experience providing technical assistance to cocoa farmers in West Africa. Solidaridad will provide intensive coaching on good agricultural practices in cocoa farm maintenance and replanting. In addition, the organization will strengthen farmer groups and link them to entrusted service providers to access inputs and labor under the project. Further, Solidaridad will provide technical support in soil health, agroforestry and income diversification to participating farmers.

The Institute for Development Impact (I4DI) is a think plus do tank, and the project’s learning partner dedicated to advancing a data-driven, systems approach to global sustainability, by integrating strategic consulting, applied research, capacity building, and technology innovation to catalyse positive social and environmental impact in many supply chains.  I4DI oversees the assessment and evaluation of the project’s impact and learning by asking strategic questions about whether a certain intervention has had its intended result on improving farmer income. If not, then unearthing what could have been done differently.

Rabo Foundation (RF) is Rabobank’s impact fund. RF invests in the self-sufficiency of farmer organizations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, by providing finance and by sharing the cooperative, banking, and agricultural expertise that the Rabobank has built up over the years. This helps organizations achieve their goals of offering smallholder farmers access to financing, knowledge, and new markets.