London, UK – 7 October 2014- The International
Finance Corporation (IFC) and Cargill are investing U.S. $2.5 million to
strengthen and expand the successful Cargill
Coop Academy in Cote d’Ivoire
to provide greater access to advanced business skills training for over
300 cocoa cooperative leaders.
The Cargill Coop Academy, established in 2013, was the first of its kind
in the cocoa sector and remains unique in providing cooperative leaders
with the management skills to improve the day-to-day running of their organisations
and make their organisations more professional, efficient and successful.
The initiative was launched under the Cargill
Cocoa Promise, with 40 leaders
from 10 cooperatives already benefiting from training and support provided
by the Coop Academy.
Sinan Traoré, President of the Cooperative CAYAT in Adzope, participated
in the first set of training and explains what changes they have made since
and the benefits; “Thanks to the training from the Cargill Coop Academy
we realized the importance of hiring a professional controller to help
manage our financials and optimize our regional organization. The new controller
with support from the Coop Academy coach successfully analyzed our cost
structure and defined a game plan to reduce operational costs by 20-30%
and this is only one of the actions defined in our three year development
This additional investment will take the program to the next level, increasing
the number of participants to over 300, professionalising the training
and materials and including the introduction of a new evaluation and benchmark
tool that has been co-developed by IFC and SCOPEinsight, an independent
agricultural assessment agency.
Lionel Soulard, Managing Director Côte d'Ivoire, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate
said; “The Coop Academy remains a unique program that is giving the leaders
of farmer cooperatives the skills, training and support they need to help
their businesses succeed. Successful cooperatives are critical to supporting
the future of cocoa farming and cocoa communities. Our partnership with
IFC will mean we will reach 70 new cooperatives and their leaders, benefitting
more than 60,000 smallholder farmers and their communities.”
The program continues to include all aspects of management training from
good governance, the structure and principles of a cooperative, people
management skills, operational management, financial and auditing techniques,
and business and marketing plans. Since the program’s launch, the training
has been improved based on feedback and recommendations from the IFC.
German Vegarra, IFC’s Head of Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services
for Sub-Saharan Africa said: “Smallholder famers represent 80% of all
farms in Africa. Private sector companies such as Cargill play an
important role in supporting farmers and agribusiness on the continent.
By supporting the development and professionalism of the farmer cooperatives,
the Coop Academy will indirectly equip farmers with the skills they need
to grow, access markets and secure their livelihoods.”
The 70 cooperatives will now undergo evaluation at the start of the program
in order to identify areas of weakness and determine the focus of their
personalised coaching for the year. Progress will then be evaluated at
the end of the coaching period. The SCOPEinsight tool, will be used to
assess the level of professionalism of farmer groups against eight key
dimensions and is key to not only personalising the training but to measuring
the success and impact of the Cargill Coop Academy overall.
The Cargill Coop Academy was developed and is implemented by TechnoServe,
a non-profit organisation that provides business solutions to poverty in
partnership with INPHB (Cote d’Ivoire’s leading university). It is supported
by the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and the Department of Foreign
Affairs, Trade and Development Canada is also contributing to the project
as a donor to IFC.
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Notes for editors:
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and
services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and
communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and nearly
150 years of experience. We have 142,000 employees in 67 countries who
are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental
impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information,
and our News
About the Cargill Cocoa Promise
The Cargill Cocoa Promise is our commitment to improving the livelihoods
of farmers, their families and their communities, and, in doing so, securing
a long term supply chain of cocoa. We focus our efforts on three key areas:
farmer training, community support and farm development.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit