“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 Barilla Group, 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.
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.
However, it doesn’t stop there: the Foundation also actively organizes many training courses, including some specifically on leadership and self-empowerment for women only, essential for sustaining the development and improvement of the living conditions of the whole 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” fully reflects the sustainability and quality objectives upheld by Barilla, which has always been committed to producing and offering the consumer products that promote healthy eating habits and help people live better, while simultaneously reducing the impact of their activities on the environment.
All in a bid to have food that is tasty, healthy and sourced from responsible supply and production chains: therefore, combining taste, excellent quality raw materials, correct lifestyles, sustainability and respect for the environment and for people.
In line with the Barilla Sustainable Agriculture Code, the Group’s goal is to purchase 100% of its raw materials responsibly in terms of economic, environmental and social impact by 2020, by protecting the resources of the Planet and the quality of life of those who live here. Instead, by 2030, the goal is to achieve full transparency of 100% of its key raw material production and supply chains.
The project is based on a few essential principles: the quest for quality and food security, reducing our environmental footprint, improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the agricultural system, acting with integrity, believing in listening to people and working together to promote continuous improvement.
“Feeding a constantly growing world population with good products, without damaging our Planet, is one of the biggest challenges of our age", stated Guido Barilla, Chairman of the Barilla Group.
To learn more:The magic ingredient of Pan di Stelle: the cocoa dreams are made of!A new cultural leadership
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