Cargill to empower women in cocoa-growing communities

Published: 7-Mar-2022

The collaboration with CARE and the Starbucks Foundation will build on CARE’s experience creating VSLAs

Cargill is collaborating with CARE and the Starbucks Foundation on an initiative aimed at aiding cocoa growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire through the development of ‘village saving and loans associations’ (VSLAs) to increase the impact and sustainability of project activities.

The partnership aims to establish 120 VSLAs linked to 10 farmer organisations in Cargill’s supply chain, using the platform to integrate gender, nutrition, and water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions. Cargill will help establish and support 100 associations, while The Starbucks Foundation will support the creation of an additional 20, helping women advance, diversify, and expand their income generating activities. In total, the initiative will affect the lives of 2500 participants (2000 women) and indirectly reach 15,000 community members by September 2023, the companies claim.

“Women are essential to the sustainability of the cocoa sector, and Cargill has been working with CARE for over a decade to implement concrete solutions to empower people. We are proud to now join forces with both CARE and The Starbucks Foundation to scale up the VSLA model and help women to build their capacity to become income generators in their own right, as farmers, as entrepreneurs, and across families. This partnership is also a testimony to Cargill’s continued commitment to driving economic growth in Côte d’Ivoire,” said Kate Clancy, Cargill’s Cocoa And Chocolate Sustainability Lead.

“VSLAs work with women community members to save together, start small businesses, and help uplift entire families from poverty. With the support of The Starbucks Foundation and Cargill, we can help women in Côte d’Ivoire extend and grow access to resources,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE US.

"We believe that an investment in a woman is an investment in her family and her community,” said Virginia Tenpenny, Chief Global Social Impact Officer, Starbucks. “Through our partnership with CARE and Cargill, we’re proud support women in cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire, especially through incorporation of nutrition and WASH programming alongside tools and training that promote women’s leadership and entrepreneurship.”

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