A dream named cocoa: the commitment of Pan di Stelle
7 May 2021
“The food of the gods”: this is the meaning of the scientific name (Theobroma cacao) of the cocoa plant, which, from Pre-Columbian civilizations to the present day, has always figured as an important, much sought-after food. Originally from southern Central America, cocoa has become a favorite worldwide thanks to its versatility, high nutritional value and unmistakable taste.
And for the us, it all starts with the finest cocoa: a cocoa that is not only high on quality but is also produced by taking special care of those who produce it, and their daily wellbeing, and by protecting the territory.
And indeed, this was the spark that ignited the commitment made by Barilla, which, with Pan di Stelle, supports the projects in Ivory Coast and Ghana of the Cocoa Horizons Foundation: the non-profit organization created by Barry Callebaut, the largest producer of high-quality cocoa in the world.
And it tells the story of this commitment through an important project, "A dream named cocoa". Because dreaming is important, but making a practical commitment is even more so.
PAN DI STELLE AND THE PROJECTS OF THE COCOA HORIZONS FOUNDATION
The support lent by Pan di Stelle to the projects of the Foundation comes in the form of a daily, practical commitment to the families of cocoa farmers. Direct support provided on the field and geared to improve the quality of life of the communities and the cocoa supply and production chain sustainability.
One example is the “Safe Water” project: a well of clean drinking water has been built in the Djangobo village in Ivory Coast (which has 7,300 inhabitants, including 3,000 children). In addition to allowing the residents to drink, cook, water and grow their crops, it also significantly reduces the health risks faced by the entire community.
The projects of the Foundation that Pan di Stelle has partnered and shared since 2015 focus in particular on protecting and promoting the wellbeing of children: guaranteeing their right to study and access health insurance programs (principally vaccinations), and building adequate, safe infrastructures such as classrooms, school canteens and teachers’ accommodation, with a view to attracting and keeping qualified teaching personnel.
Over the last two years, we have supported Cocoa Horizons in building a school in the town of Dahiri, in the Ivory Coast. This initiative will give more than 300 children in the village, between the ages of 5 and 14, the chance to learn to read and write.
But it’s not just about child protection: the Foundation also actively organizes many training courses, including some specifically on leadership and self-empowerment for women only, which are essential to support the development and improvement of the living conditions of the entire community.
One of the objectives of the Cocoa Horizons Foundation is also to include farmers in a specific training program focusing on the activities they perform as they work, from sowing and looking after the plants to the post-harvest phases of the process, such as fermenting and drying the cocoa beans. Specialized trainers, including conservationists, agronomists, geographers, account controllers and auditors have helped improve the daily life of approximately 25,000 cocoa farmers and their families.
“A dream named cocoa” reflects our sustainability and quality goals, for food production that is beneficial to our well-being and that of the planet. In fact, through our brands, we want to supply food that is good, healthy and sourced from clean and responsible supply chains worldwide: a combination of taste, high-quality raw materials, correct lifestyles, sustainability and respect for the environment and for people.
In line with the Barilla Sustainable Agriculture Code our goal is therefore to purchase more and more raw materials responsibly in terms of economic, environmental and social impact, thus protecting our planet’s resources and the quality of life of its inhabitants.
As far as cocoa is concerned, we first adopted this approach by partnering with the Cocoa Horizons Foundation and we then gradually extended it to all of the Group’s cocoa supplies, including the Transparence Cacao project of supplier Dipa Cemoi.
This approach involves getting a bonus on purchases, in addition to the cost of the raw material, in order to support the activities of the Cocoa Horizons Foundation and of the Transparence Cacao Project, which in 2020 enabled us to purchase 99% of our cocoa from responsible supply chains.
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