Zurich, Switzerland — Under the aegis of the Jacobs Foundation’s Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (TRECC) program, Mars Chocolate North America LLC, Mondelez International, Inc., Nestle S.A. and Barry Callebaut AG will join forces to make a measurable impact through community development and education in Ivory Coast.
The goal is to reach 16,000 children and youth and 72,000 adults during the next three years by improving education, empowering women and addressing child labor conditions. The four industry partners will jointly invest CHF 5 million and the Jacobs Foundation will match the companies’ investments with CHF 3.78 million when project goals are achieved.
“By setting up these partnerships between the Jacobs Foundation and the cocoa and chocolate industry on the basis of accountability and results orientation, we’re laying a strong foundation for jointly improving the well-being of cocoa communities and their children in the Ivory Coast region,” says Lavinia Jacobs, chair of the Jacobs Foundation.
Mars will be establishing village savings and loan associations in 24 communities to teach and enable women to save and borrow funds. Mondelez will set up childcare centers to provide quality early childhood education for those aged three to five years. It also will provide women farmers with literacy training. Nestle aims to reduce the risk of child labor through improving literacy and numeracy levels by setting up bridging classes for out-of-school children, aged nine through 13, and providing support to those attending school but at risk of dropping out. Barry Callebaut will establish comprehensive youth vocational training in farming services such as tree pruning, fertilizer application and seedling nursery set up.
Also read article in ConfectioneryNews.com: http://www.confectionerynews.com/Commodities/Four-chocolate-giants-invest-5m-in-Ivorian-education-project